The editorial in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman on Friday, November 22 on the PA system and acoustics in Western Financial Place was bang on.
The sound system in the arena is 15-year-old technology and it would appear that it was not a high end purchase to begin with. City Council needs to realize it is their job to upgrade a 15-year-old system with decent equipment so that everyone can hear what is being said. People have left and are leaving Western Financial Place hockey games and not returning because of the racket generated by the PA system. This not only costs the Ice money, it is costing the City of Cranbrook money and could wind up costing us our hockey team of young men who work their tails off to entertain us each and every game.
Instead of wasting millions of dollars on upgrading 2nd Street South, which is one of the better streets in Cranbrook, perhaps City Council could buy a new jumbotron, a new sound system for WFP and do something about improving the acoustics. This facility needs upgrades to improve the quality of experience when attending an event at WFP. Perhaps it will even improve attendance at all events and that might make the costs come down.
The comment about the roving announcer was again right on the mark. I think I could hear him better if he threw away the mike. The music guy and PA announcer must think the louder they turn the system up the better people can hear it. The messages and music played over the PA system are a distracting racket that echo through the arena and that takes away enjoyment, not adding to it.
As you quite correctly point out the echo chamber effect makes a bad problem even worse, whether it is for hockey or any other performance.
Mr. Coulter expressed his thoughts very well on the PA system and acoustics and I support them with my additional thoughts. It is now up to Council to decide if they are going to replace a perfectly good street or fix a sound problem and improve attendance at WFP for all events.