The first night AFL game in Geelong moved one step closer on Thursday with the first light tower being installed at Simonds Stadium.
Light tower four was placed at the City end, to the north of the Hickey Stand, with the help of James Podsiadly and Nathan Vardy, Cats acting CEO Rosie King and the Hon. Richard Marles, Federal Member for Corio.
“Today is another significant day as we move toward night football here at Simonds Stadium,” Geelong president Colin Carter said.
“Our supporters and members are excited about what lies ahead with the advent of night football here at Simonds Stadium. To see the first light tower go into the ground today is a major step towards completion of this project.
“We will be playing for premiership points under lights at our stadium for the first time. Football has been played at our ground since 1941, and there have been 623 matches, all of them in daylight hours. So this is a major milestone in our history.”
Member for Corio, Richard Marles said funding for the lights was through a $10 million contribution from the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund.
“The Federal Government understands that investing in regional areas like Geelong is a wise investment because it helps create sustainable communities,” Mr Marles said.
“This is a great outcome for Geelong, for the Geelong Football Club and for Cats fans everywhere.
“Not only will we see the first night games from Simonds Stadium but the potential to stage other sporting and cultural events is now wide open.
The light towers will be in place by the end of May and the first night game will be played on Saturday 1st June when the Cats tackle the Gold Coast Suns.
The construction of the light towers will see AFL football played in Geelong at night for the first time, and will also provide broadcast quality lighting for other sporting & community events to be played at Simonds Stadium including cricket (T20), soccer, rugby league and rugby union.
Each light towers will stand approx. 73 metres high and 4.5 metres wide at base narrowing to 2.5 metres at the top, and will weigh approximately 160 tonne.
Each tower will have 101 light fittings, but can cater for upto 130 light fittings for future proofing should lighting level standards increase in the future.
Lighting levels will be capable of producing broadcast quality lighting levels (at least 1,400 lux) and each light fitting has a life span of approximately 2,000 hours.
- $10m funding contribtution from the Australian Government through the Regional Development Australia Fund;
- Construction of 4 light towers at Simonds Stadium will provide broadcast quality lighting for sporting events including AFL, Cricket (T20), Soccer, Rugby League & Union.
- Completion date of end of May, in time for first game on 1 June.
- Other Interesting Facts which might be of use for the release:
- Design based on Wind Tower turbines - Cylindrical Towers.
- Dimensions of Tower = 73m high, 4.5m wide at base narrowing to 2.5m at the top.
- Number of Lights = Each tower has 101 light fittings, but can cater for 130 light fittings for future proofing should lighting level standards increase. If a globe blows, it won't impact on the lighting level for the event, and doesn't need to be changed immediately. It will be changed when regular maintenance is performed.
- Lighting Levels = Capable of producing broadcast quality 1400 lux
- Accessibility = There is a small 2 person lift in each tower to assist with access from the bottom to the top
- Weight/Tonnage of each tower = Approx. 160 tonne
- 144 bolts holding each tower to footings
- Each tower will be made up of four components - Lower & Upper Base, Neck & Head.
- Lamp Life = approximately 2000 hours. To put this into context, lets say each event using the lights runs for 5 hours, this would enable 400 events at Simonds Stadiums. Allowing for say 10 events per year using the lights this means the lamp life is approximately 40 years!