SBJ/May 31 - June 6, 1999/No Topic Name

Powerful TM4000, at home on the catwalk, raises the light standard

An Italian-made spotlight is breaking new ground in the field of specialty arena lighting.

Coemar Inc.'s new light, the TM4000, is said to be the most powerful and versatile fully automated spotlight available. Promotional material for the spotlight shows it projecting a starburst pattern on the side of a building from a half-mile away.

The 4,000-watt light will make its American debut in the 20,000-seat Staples Center, which is scheduled to open in October in Los Angeles as the new home of the NBA's Lakers and Clippers and the NHL Kings.

Obie/Westsun recently sold the Staples Center 16 of the TM4000 spotlights. No one would say how much the Staples Center paid, but the lights retail for $19,750 each, according to Michael Carattini, director of marketing for Obie Co.

Obie Co. is the exclusive distributor of Coemar products in the United States and Canada. The company merged earlier this year with Westsun International Inc., a company based in Winnipeg that specializes in providing lighting, sound and scenery for major theater productions and other special events.

Other features of the TM4000 spotlight include an infinite color range and the ability to make any pattern or logo spin or fracture into two, four or six identical images. The light can store up to 10 patterns and the patterns can be layered.

The TM4000's versatility is its ability to project an image anywhere in an arena. The spotlight also can be rigged to automatically follow a skater or performer wearing a radio transmitter.

"As of right now, I haven't heard of a system like this anywhere in the world," said Steve Linenberger, senior lighting designer for CBS and a consultant for the NBA. "It sounds like a real tricky light. I'd like to see it work."

While TM4000 is more expensive than standard arena spotlights, the cost is competitive because the spotlight does not have to be mounted on special trusses, according to Carattini.

Standard arena spotlights of this type range in power from 1,200 to 2,000 watts and work best mounted 40 feet away from the court or ice. The lights are usually mounted underneath a scoreboard or on special structures hung above the floor.

The TM4000 can project a clear team logo from 120 to 150 feet above the floor or ice so it can be mounted on an existing catwalk or roof structure.

"You avoid spending thousands of dollars building a special truss for lighting, wiring the truss and putting motors on the truss so you can move it," Carattini said.

He said arena operators could save money in long-term maintenance and care costs by having the lights in easy-to-reach places.

Turner Construction Co. and Schlegel Builders Inc. have been awarded the construction management contract on a $30 million convention center in Reading, Pa.

The project, called the Sovereign Center, is a multipurpose building that will accommodate a 7,000-seat hockey rink for East Coast Hockey League competition. Construction begins next month with opening day scheduled for October 2000.

Turner Construction Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Turner Corp. (NYSE:TUR), which completed $1.4 billion in construction in 1998.

Schlegel Builders Inc. is a general contracting firm based in Reading.

The architect is STV Architects of Douglassville, Pa., and the associate architect is PBK Architects of Vancouver, Canada.

If you have construction updates or other facility news, please contact Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Journal staff writer Eric Mitchell at (704) 973-1411 or emitchell@amcity.com.

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