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A runaway success

February 12, 2006

Ebreichsdorf’s Magna Racino, located roughly 18mi south of the Austrian capital of Vienna, is the brainchild of the legendary rags-to-riches entrepreneur Frank Stronach, founder and chairman of Magna International, an automotive parts manufacturer.
Ebreichsdorf is a town of some 5000, located roughly 18mi south of the Austrian capital of Vienna. An easy drive from neighboring cities in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, the region is ideally situated for short getaways and long weekends. It attracts a wide cross-section of visitors and tourists who come for the area’s culture, natural beauty and recreation.

Ebreichsdorf’s Magna Racino is the brainchild of the legendary rags-to-riches entrepreneur Frank Stronach, founder and chairman of Magna International, an automotive parts manufacturer. The Austrian-born Stronach has long been an enthusiastic fan of horses and horse racing, and his Magna Entertainment division is an owner and operator of horse racetracks in North America, boasting such thoroughbred tracks as Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Thistledown, Portland Meadows and Great Lakes Downs.

Though Stronach has based his home and business in Canada since the 1950s, he has always maintained strong ties to his native Austria, and Magna Racino is clearly designed to exceed the provincial and reflect a world-class sensibility. The venue, located on over 660 acres of lush grounds, opened its doors in April 2004 to rave reviews from the media and populace alike. Since then, the owners have continued to expand and upgrade the facilities. Far more than a typical racetrack, Magna Racino is evolving into a massive, multifaceted meeting and entertainment venue, with something on offer for just about everyone.

The racetrack itself is, of course, still a focal point with its massive 100sq meter Barco Slite 22 LED display and 100V distributed speaker system. The main screen, as well as the other displays in the house, are all networked together, affording a flexible array of configuration options.

Professional horse race announcers hold court throughout the laps, addressing the crowd through a pair of Audio Technica ES915 cardioid condenser microphones, connected to a Korg TP2 two-channel desktop preamp.

In addition to the racetrack itself, there are two other main gathering points, the Sports Bar and the Entertainment Center, as well as numerous other smaller meeting places, including the Panorama Restaurant, VIP Lounge, Derby Bar, Santa Anita Sall, Jackpot Bar and the Foyer. A sophisticated audio and video network ties the entire facility together, providing for a wide selection of program material throughout the venue’s more than two hundred displays.

The newest addition to Magna Racino is the Sports Bar, a veritable sports fans’ paradise, ideally designed for watching and wagering on as many simultaneous events as one’s budget and attention can handle. The lion’s share of LED and plasma displays are situated here, networked to a multitude of satellite feeds. Flexible routing and split screen configurations allow patrons to view a wide array of events, including games and events from numerous worldwide sporting networks, as well as live broadcasting from many of Magna’s other race venues. Incoming signals from the various satellite receivers and tuners are routed through an Extron audio/video matrix, and individual displays’ programs are selected via infrared remotes, using a Remote-X system.

Audio for the Sports Bar is provided by a selection of QSC Audio AcousticDesign full range surface mount loudspeakers, including two AD-S282H, four AD-S82 and two AD-S52 models, powered by QSC CX-series amplifiers. A Rane RPM88 audio controller provides EQ and delay.

The Entertainment Center hosts a wide range of performance events, from live music and comedy shows to Las Vegas style dance and musical productions, acrobats, clowns and more. It’s also well suited for larger assemblies, conventions and corporate gatherings.

A Yamaha DM1000 console performs front of house mixing duties, with a Yamaha DME-24 digital mix engine for audio system control. An HK line array provides 5.1 surround using six Cohedra cabinets on left and right mains and a combination of BR-8, Saturn and Lunary boxes on center and rear channels. On stage, a selection of wireless microphone systems includes four AKG 4000 series and eight Sennheiser 300 series. HK Lucas cabinets perform monitor duties.

Three Barco SLM 12+ projectors are controlled by a Barco Events Controller, providing softedge imaging and positioning. Three Barco Viewscape units equipped with SDI, composite, S-VHS and RGBHV slots offer a wide range of effects including alpha blending, chroma keying, edge blending and other options, played out on 160sq meters of video screen real estate.

Also on site is an internal TV studio equipped with Viewscape3D and SGI modeling software to create composite sources to augment the productions. A Grass Valley Kayak DD2 mixer is central to the studio, with a Grass Valley hard disk system and an Apple G4 running Final Cut Pro. Five JVC cameras (including one with a Gigawave wireless system), and Sony IMX camcorder.

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