DALLAS — If you've ever attended a Dallas Mavericks playoff game, then you know it can get loud inside the American Airlines Center.
In fact, the building's sound system is designed that way.
It's louder than a train whistle; louder than a power mower.
That wave of sound inside the AAC is a tsunami, and it's designed to come crashing down on the other team.
When Jack Wrightson designed the sound system inside the American Airlines Center, he wanted more than loud.
He wanted every cheer, every chant, every word from the announcer to be heard like you were sitting inside the world's biggest home theater system.
And so, Wrightson added surround sound. The Mavs are the only team to have it. Wrightson says the state of the art system is an advantage.
"To the extent it makes it a more fun experience for the crowd, up on their feet, they're yelling and chanting, then you have a competitive advantage," he said.
There are 60 speakers with microphones in the crowd and all over the court.
Wrightson's company, WJHW, has designed sound systems for about 70 percent of NBA teams, including the Miami Heat. He has this to say about the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
"It's a smaller building, by all accounts," Wrightson said. "If the crowd was great, it has a chance of being louder, but their crowd is not as good as the Mavericks' crowd, so it's not as loud."
But in the end, all the technical magic in the world can't work, without a good crowd.
"Do too much, it gets really artificial and people know it," Wrightson said.
His favorite part is the bass; he says a wall that extends above the ceiling creates pockets that keep it sounding just right — no matter where you sit in the 20,000-capacity building.