The Adelaide Oval has a proud 140 year history. Its $535 million redevelopment has made it an internationally renowned, world-class venue. It is home to cricket, football and an exceptional venue for all kinds of major sporting events and entertainment.
To augment its stature as an exceptional sporting and entertainment venue, the Adelaide Oval upgraded its lighting; installing architectural lighting with the ability to replicate any colour within the spectrum of a rainbow, sports lighting, and replacing its LED ribbons. Together, these would provide a fully immersive ambient environment with programmable graphics as well as light and sound repertoires able to lift excitement levels.
Incorporated in the upgrade works were the installation of LED ribbons around the circumference of the oval at ground and elevated levels, installation of lights above the canopies, the replacement of flood lights under the roof trusses as well as the provision of completely new back end infrastructure involving electrical and fibre runs to all of the ribbons and lights.
The Adelaide Oval contracted Programmed Electrical Technologies for all these jobs. Even though the projects were in essence separate undertakings, each with their individual complexities, Programmed was able to streamline all works for the Oval into a seamlessly integrated solution that saw them all being implemented in tandem with one another.
The replacement of the canopy lighting under the roof trusses required especially stringent safety practices as some lights were located as high up as 28 metres above ground – the canopies' highest point. New cables to these lights had to be run along the underside of the canopies. These needed to be safely installed, properly connected and aesthetically well camouflaged.
A long-standing relationship with Adelaide Oval – the result of numerous successful projects in the past – meant that Programmed knew the site and were able to work well with the Oval’s project and management teams to deliver the lighting installation as well as the fibre and electrical works for the LED ribbon installs.
“Programmed were instrumental in delivering the project. Throughout all of our projects, Programmed is able to help us because they know the Oval so intimately,” said Simon Costanzo, the Adelaide Oval’s Capital Works Manager, who oversaw the LED ribbon upgrades.
“They are really experienced, they know all of our teams and are really responsive, working to the end goal – which is to get the job done. Just that alone provides a bit of an edge.”
“They also make sure the work site is safe and secure, and are doing it in a responsible manner.”
To realise a zero incident outcome, multiple dry runs were carried out prior to any actual work at heights being undertaken. This aimed to make certain that the cables could be pulled and lights installed or swapped safely, without posing any risks to the site or the people working on the job and in the vicinity.
The meticulousness of the teams paid off; running through various scenarios during the planning stage enabled them to address the many potential hazards early on.
This was necessary as the stadium’s architecture, the structure of the awnings and seating layout combined to pose a challenge for safe access. In the Eastern Grandstand, boom lifts and elevated work platforms could not be used as they could potentially damage the sports field’s surface, while the seats in the stands hindered the safe and stable footing necessary for such equipment to reach such high heights.
The only solution was to use swing stages and pulleys anchored to the canopies. Even then, it was necessary to ensure that teams could comfortably reach the lights and cables without having to stretch too far out and lose their balance. They, along with toolboxes, tools and lights had to be individually harnessed to prevent anyone in the swing stage or on the ground from being hurt. Meanwhile, strategically placed spotters monitored conditions in the air as well as below, and cordoned off exclusion zones with wide enough berths beneath the stages to maintain pedestrian safety.
A total of 800 meters of LED ribbons, 220 sport lights and 268 architectural lights were replaced or installed in just ten weeks, a deadline that needed to be met so that the Oval could host the upcoming international Test Match. Programmed delivered the project ahead of time, giving the Adelaide Oval a few days extra to put the entire system through its paces so that come match day, the Oval was confident its light and sound repertoire was working as it should when wowing the global audience.
“Programmed were fantastic to work with and made complex problems simple, which for me was just brilliant. It made managing those elements really, really, easy,” said Mr Costanzo.