Let There Be Lights!

The return of the Dragons to Kogarah’s Jubilee Oval was a triumph for all the stakeholders of the St. George-Illawarra Club. Against major cynicism and other barriers, R2K successfully lobbied for the Dragons to return to the St. George district. Following the path blazed by R2K, Kogarah Council then recommended a maintenance program that ensured that Jubilee Oval would be ready for the Dragons in 2003. As a result, Jubilee Oval received a 1.85 million dollar facelift that was funded by the NSW State Government, the St. George Leagues Club, Kogarah Council, Hurstville Council, Rockdale Council and the wider St. George community.

While this outcome was a wonderful success, all St. George-Illawarra stakeholders must now attempt to ensure that Kogarah continues to be used as an elite rugby league venue for as long as our great game exists. The next goal for Kogarah must surely be permanent lighting.

The switching of the Broncos game from Kogarah to WIN in 2003, due to the lighting issue, emphasised the necessity for the Dragons and Kogarah Council to press ahead with Stage 2 of the Jubilee Oval redevelopment. Although Stage 1 was a great success, there can be no room for complacency. Now more than ever, we need to guarantee the future of rugby league in the St. George district. It is essential that Kogarah acquires permanent lighting in the near future so this issue can’t be used to its detriment in the longer term.

Below is a permanent lighting article which was released by R2K in 2003:

Following the transfer of the Broncos home game from Kogarah to WIN Stadium, R2K has been researching the subject of stadium lighting. Although Stage 1 of the Jubilee Oval redevelopment is complete, with the exception of the Legends’ Walk, there was no provision for permanent lighting in the initial stage of the refurbishments. The St. George-Illawarra Management decided to transfer the Broncos game, as they only wanted to play Sunday games at Kogarah in the first year of the return and had no desire to bring in temporary lighting. The lighting issue needs to be resolved by St. George-Illawarra and Kogarah Council for the 2004 season.

In earlier seasons, a company called 'Musco Lighting' provided the temporary lighting for Jubilee Oval night games. However, temporary lighting is relatively expensive for any club, as the cost is around $6,000 per bank. Until last year, Musco had 4 purpose designed lighting banks that met Channel 9 requirements for lighting. Due to a lack of demand in Australia, Musco recently sent 2 of their 4 lighting towers overseas to assist with their busy European office. Although there are only 2 towers currently available, Musco still has other equipment which can be rigged to cranes to provide 4 banks.

Temporary lighting is not the long-term answer and every effort needs to be made to ensure that permanent lighting is installed during the off-season. As well as being specialists in temporary lighting, Musco are a leader in the provision of permanent lighting. In general terms, TV quality lighting for a rugby league ground costs between $500,000 to $700,000. Musco have worked with Channel 9 for the past 10 years and can design a permanent lighting system to suit Kogarah that will meet and exceed the NRL and Channel 9 requirements.

Musco's resume is exceedingly impressive. They provided the necessary TV broadcast lighting for 19 of the 26 sports for the Sydney 2000 Olympics; temporary lighting services on hundreds of major motion pictures including Titanic and Pearl Harbor and they operated lighting trucks at the September 11 disaster site so that work could continue through the night.

However, it is Musco's expertise in the area of 'community friendly' lighting that is of most interest for Jubilee Oval. A proposal for permanent lighting at Jubilee Oval would require a Development Application through Kogarah Council. A number of dwellings surround Jubilee Oval in Park and English Street, and some residents may be concerned over issues such as light spill and glare. Musco understands these concerns and have developed patented systems that have been applied and refined over 25 years to help satisfy local residents. Obligation free design assistance is provided to all Musco customers during the planning stages of projects to ensure that the lighting is designed to suit all participants: neighbours, players, spectators and TV broadcasters.

Musco Lighting can resolve the lighting issue at Kogarah and they should be strongly considered for the tender when the time comes for the installation of permanent lighting. Due to the cost of permanent lighting it is essential that all St. George-Illawarra stakeholders continue to contribute to the Jubilee Oval Community Appeal.

To ensure that Jubilee Oval receives its 5 home games in 2003, St. George-Illawarra may need to hire the temporary lighting for the round 25 Newcastle game if the NRL announce that it will be staged on a Friday night. Switching the game to WIN, Aussie Stadium or any other venue would be deemed as unacceptable by St. George-Illawarra supporters.

For more information on Kogarah's lighting go to:


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