Upgrades to the iconic North Sydney Oval are due to commence on 30 November 2015.
During the initial phase, expected to be finalised by mid-March 2016, the historic sportsfield will receive a portable drop-in cricket wicket, new irrigation lines and improved lighting.
The facelift will ensure that North Sydney Oval is identified as a first-class venue for major sporting events.
The new lighting system will allow day and night games to be played at the Oval, as per football and cricket codes.
Designed for dual-purpose venues, the drop-in cricket wicket is prepared off the ground and then transported back into position for use – allowing for a better playing field. This technology will enable the wicket to be produced in a controlled environment away from any traffic on the field.
North Sydney Oval first trialled the technology in 1998, when cricket wicket technology was in its early stages. Since then, the technology has improved substantially and is used by many premier sporting stadiums including ANZ Stadium (Sydney), Colonial Stadium (Melbourne) and the MCG.
North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson said the upgrades will further enhance the oval as a major and sustainable venue.
“These improvements are pivotal in promoting North Sydney Oval as an international sportsfield and event location,” Mayor Gibson said.
“The upgrade will not only improve the playing surface of the Oval, but will ensure the stadium has the technology and capabilities required to host a wide range of events.”
Other identified projects scheduled to be rolled out, as part of the North Sydney Oval upgrade, until 2019/20 include:
- bar, kiosk and merchandising facility improvements
- upgrading of player and officials change rooms and establishment of medical rooms and press facilities
- improvements to corporate facilities and Duncan Thompson Stand restoration/refurbishment
- steel drainpipe and structural remediation work for McCartney, O'Reilly, Mollie Dive and Bob stands
- CCTV system installed
- refurbishment of media broadcasting facilities
- provision of an outdoor video screen
- improvements to the public announcement system
- review of seating requirements – new grandstand seating
- outdoor video screen installation
Regarded by the local community and sporting industry as a venue which holds strong social, sporting, historic and economic value, the Oval is currently used for football, rugby league, rugby union, cricket as well as various one-off sporting and special events.
Over 90,000 people attended events at North Sydney Oval during the 2013/14 financial year.
While initial improvements are underway the Sunset Cinema will continue to operate in January, as well as other selected events. The Oval will be closed for sport during this time.
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