Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA)

Mt Smart Stadium gets even smarter

Published Wednesday 12 July 2017

Global superstars Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber and Adele have already lit up Mt Smart Stadium in 2017. Now the job is being left to one of the most sophisticated lighting systems on the planet.

From this Friday fans at Mt Smart Stadium night-time sporting events will see the field showcased and spotlighted like never before with the final installation of the Philips ArenaVision LED floodlighting system.

The first tranche of lights was installed prior to the start of the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL season and the second half of the installation took place during May and June. Fans attending the Warriors’ home match against the Penrith Panthers on Friday will be the first to see the new lighting system in full effect.

The new lighting system is the same as the ones now in use at several major European stadiums, including Stamford Bridge in London, home of the Chelsea Football Club, and Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy where Juventus Football Club resides.

Paul Nisbet, Director Auckland Stadiums (a business unit of RFA), said the innovative LED pitch lighting solution designed by the world leader in lighting, will be a major fillip for players, spectators and TV broadcasters.

“It’s a virtuous circle,” Mr Nisbet said. “The players will be able to see more clearly, the fans will be able to view a better product and the television broadcast will have a sharper picture.

“We’re committed to maximising the use of our venues and investing in innovative technology solutions helps us achieve that. We’ll be able to provide everyone involved in the game with the best possible experience and support the latest International Rugby League requirements for TV broadcasting.”

The new lights will add to the impact of rugby league during the remainder of the 2017 Vodafone Warriors’ NRL home games program, and for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup that will see Mt Smart host the opening New Zealand round and one of the semi-finals.

The new lighting system was selected after researching multiple manufacturers and designs. It enhances lighting standards for high definition super slow-motion replays, avoiding the flicker effect synonymous with conventional lamps. What’s more, unlike the previous metal halide system, the new LED solution can be dimmed to meet the criteria of other sports codes or switched on and off without the need for a warm-up period.

“That makes a big difference to what can be presented as pre-match and half-time entertainment,” Mr Nisbet said. “In the past, we couldn’t dim or darken on-field areas without risking that the lights might not be back up to full power by the time the game was on.

“These LED floodlights will provide flawless lighting, casting good uniformity of light and illuminating the players and the game brilliantly. It’s another major milestone in the continuing development of Mt Smart Stadium.

“One of the best advantages is the ultra-long life of the system compared to the relatively short life of the older metal halide lamps. Given the difficulty of access to the lighting, this will greatly reduce maintenance costs going forward”, Mr Nisbet said.

The LED floodlights installation follows the addition of a massive new 212 square-metre screen, the largest permanent stadium screen ever installed in New Zealand. The fan-pleaser is nearly five times the size of the temporary screens previously used at the ground for the Warriors’ NRL matches.

“We’re proud of the venue and the experience we can provide fans,” Mr Nisbet said. “Mt Smart Stadium just keeps getting smarter.”

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