MCG improves fan experience with new lighting and PA system
An historic lighting re-fit and an upgrade to the MCG’s PA system are just two of the major capital works projects completed by the Melbourne Cricket Club over the summer season.
Thirty-five years since they were first installed, the iconic MCG light towers underwent a huge re-fit and renovation over the 2019/20 summer, with 950 state-of-the-art LED sports lights replacing 1200 metal halide lamps. An additional 400 new LED lights were installed underneath the roofline across the Northern and Southern stands.
The lighting upgrade is designed to enhance the MCG experience for spectators at the ground, players and TV viewers alike and also provides greater flexibility of lighting output, less light spill out of the arena and greater speed when turning lights off and on.
The new lights were switched on in time for the Australia A and England Lions cricket match on February 22 and were beamed across the world for the first time during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final between Australia and India on March 8.
MCC General Manager – Facilities Peter Wearne said the timing was right for the light towers to be upgraded.
“The lights before this upgrade were the same as what was originally installed 35 years ago, so not only were they reaching the end of their lifespan, but they had well and truly begun to be outshone by newer technology,” Wearne said.
“The new lights installed keep with the MCG’s overarching focus on sustainable practices, with the new technology a far more energy-efficient option.”
The MCG is the first major Australian stadium to retrofit LED lighting, joining Optus Stadium, Bankwest Stadium and Queensland Country Bank Stadium which all opened in recent years featuring the new standard in field lighting.
The lighting project followed a significant upgrade to stadium’s PA system, which was completed in time for the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand.
The PA upgrade involved replacing more than 3000 speakers around the ground, attached to more than 100km of cable, to enhance the in-stadium experience for members and the public.
The lighting and PA upgrades formed part of $50 million of capital works projects carried out by the MCC, as custodians of the MCG, which also included the $17m refurbishment to the Australian Sports Museum, which opened to the public in February.