Manuka Oval lights up
The installation of floodlights at Canberra's Manuka Oval is complete with the six 47-metre high structures tested for the first time on Wednesday evening ahead of the first event on January 29.
The new lights are part of a broader upgrade of Canberra's premier oval facility, which also include the installation of a permanent video screen and additional seating, which will boost capacity.
The design of the lighting structures is unique, with the curved shape giving them a different look to traditional light towers at other venues around Australia. Design criteria was set by the National Capital Authority to ensure the lights blended into the inner-south suburb.
The total cost of the lighting project was $5.347 million - jointed funded by the ACT government ($2.847 million) and the federal government ($2.5 million).
While partial testing had taken place over the past couple of weeks, Wednesday was the first time all six towers were illuminated following the installation of a maintenance piece required.
Each tower contains four different types of light - wide, medium, narrow and extra-narrow - which are fanned out to ensure an equal coverage on the playing surface, while precautions have been taken to ensure minimal spill to the surrounding area.
The first event under the new lights will be held on January 29th when the Prime Ministers XI take on the West Indians in the annual tour match while the following week, the Australian Cricket team will visit Canberra for the first time when they host the West Indies in a One Day International which is expected to sell-out.
Tuesday's cricket game won't actually be the first event played under lights at Manuka Oval however, with the venue hosting a Canberra Raiders NRL game back in round 14, 2001. The club decided to keep the game in Canberra and bring in temporary lights due to the unavailability of Canberra Stadium.
The first AFL game played under the new lights will be held on March 8 when the GWS Giants host Essendon in the NAB Cup.