In the Media

Behind the Scenes at the Bay Oval No 5

In the last “Behind the Scenes at the Bay Oval” of the season, we chat to Bay Oval Trust General Manager Kelvin Jones about the magnificent floodlights at the Mount Maunganui cricket venue.

Cricket administrators in the Bay of Plenty, had long held ambitions to development an international cricket ground with the re-development of Blake Park providing the ideal opportunity and timing.

The origins of the Blake Park cricket re-development, were to have a “village green” atmosphere, where up to ten thousand spectators, would be able to witness the frenetic action of International One-Day and Twenty 20 cricket action.

The first sod of the newly minted Bay Oval was turned on the 1st March 2005, with the Bay Oval Trust Board believing that the future of the ground lay firmly with day/night cricket under lights.

In 2016, the Bay Oval Trust got serious about raising the required amount to light the Bay Oval, with the dream turning to reality in November 2017, when the Bay Oval lights were officially turned on for the first time.

We pick up the story of lighting the Bay Oval for the recent Sri Lanka and India ODI day/nighters with Kelvin Jones. The lights are controlled by a touch panel in a small box no more than 200mm by 200mm, which Kelvin operates. “At a meeting between the ICC Match Referee and myself prior to the start of the ODI’s, we look at projected weather and conditions and agree on the time to turn on the lights. For Twenty 20 evening matches the lights are on from the start of the match”.

The six towers of 384 individual lights, which are 51 metres clear of the ground, have changed the Mount Maunganui landscape forever. In order to not be held captive by electricity, the lights are powered by a main generator and a backup that would kick in the rare event of generator failure.

“We were the first sporting ground in the country and just the second cricket ground in the world to use LED floodlighting. Our research revealed that LED floodlights have a theoretical life of 50, 000 hours, of which we only use around 500 hours per season at the Bay Oval”.

“The lights throw some four and a half thousand Lux on the Bay Oval wickets. By comparison the conventional Eden Park lights illuminate there ground to just two thousand Lux”. “The major advantage of LED Floodlights is the instant lighting, when we turn them on, against the more conventional floodlighting that take around half a hour to warm up to full power”.

“At the end of each match we have the ability to dim the lights to enable the clean-up to take place”.

“While our focus has been on lighting the Bay Oval for cricket, the floodlights are capable of Light Shows which opens up the possibilities of entertainment shows at the Bay Oval in the future”.




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