The AFL and cricket community will be able to see things in a whole new light this week with the installation of new lighting at Gardens Oval.
The new oval lights will allow evening matches and training for sports such as cricket and AFL with the lights switched on at designated times. The new lights will allow for extended oval use times and more flexibility with sporting organisations able to spread out training and matches.
The increase in capacity also means that training sessions and matches can now be held during cooler periods of the day which helps to reduce the impact of heat on players and spectators, particularly during the wet season.
New sporting oval lights at Gardens Oval is part of the Territory Labor Government’s Urban Lights Program in Darwin that also includes the installation of lights at Bagot Oval and Nightcliff oval, which are due to be completed later this year.
The program is a collaboration with the City of Darwin, who are managing and delivering the government funded project.
Extensive community consultation carried out by the City of Darwin found 94% of survey participants were supportive of the project.
As stated by Minister for Sport, Kate Worden
“The Territory Labor Government is investing in the sporting facilities that Territorians deserve.
“Gardens Oval has been an important home for sports in Darwin since footy matches were first played there in the 1950s.
“Darwin is the best place in Australia to be involved in sports but it’s also one of the hottest, so our investment in lights will see more games and training take place in the cooler evenings.
“As an avid sportsperson, I have lobbied for oval lights for years and I am proud to be part of a government that is delivering this project.”
As stated by Chief Minister and Member for Fannie Bay, Michael Gunner
“Investing in the Territory’s sporting assets boosts the local economy and creates local jobs.
“Our community will welcome new sporting lights at Gardens Oval as it means more locals can have better use of the oval, train and play matches during cooler periods of the day.
“This is a huge win for our local sporting community, kids and families.”
As stated by City of Darwin Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis
“This is a significant project and a reflection on how, when two levels of government work together, great outcomes are produced for our community.
“The completion of this project provides greater opportunities for the community to participate in sport, with lights offering the ability to train and play at cooler times of the day.”
As stated by NT Cricket CEO, Joel Morrison
“Installing lights at Gardens Oval is a game changer for our community.
“Thanks to the NT Government and City of Darwin, we can now take kids out of the heat of the day, provide flexible fixtures for families to make sport more accessible and showcase cricket on Thursday nights alongside the hugely popular Mindil Beach Markets.”
As stated by AFLNT CEO, Stuart Totham
“The installation of lights at Gardens Ovals is the culmination of hard work that commenced in 2016 and for many people is a lifelong dream to see top-flight footy played at night.
“AFLNT and our many clubs, players and supporters take the opportunity to thank the NT Government for their strong support toward the growth of footy with their commitment and funding to light up a number of ovals across Darwin and the NT.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to the City of Darwin for managing the project.”