Since opening in 1845, the Kennington Oval has been the home of Surrey County Cricket Club. Through the years, the Oval has played host to many international cricket matches such as the Ashes, the ICC Champions Trophy and the Cricket World Cup. Interestingly, it also staged England’s first international football match, against Scotland and the first FA Cup final in 1872.
The ground had no permanent floodlighting in place and would bring in temporary lighting on a game-by-game basis. Far from being ideal, this had many cost and logistical implications. With our proven track record in sports lighting, Abacus were the obvious choice to take on a project such as this. For this reason, the Oval approached Abacus to provide a bespoke lighting solution worthy of a ground of such stature.
As with any project of this nature, there are many design and planning restrictions to consider. Abacus worked closely with the Oval, the local council and residents’ committee to arrive at a solution that would not only provide world class lighting, but also meet and respect the needs of residents and planning conditions. More than simply a visual design process, there are many technical lighting aspects to consider, such as overspill, glare and source intensities.
The answer was to use four telescopic masts that during play would be elevated to just under 50m. When not in use, these masts would retract down to a height of 29m to reduce the visual impact on the Surrey skyline. During the off-season, the headframes are removed and stored behind the masts on specially designed cradles, in line with planning conditions.
Each mast carries over 80 Abacus Challenger 3® stadium floodlights specifically designed for use in stadiums. This 2kW floodlight has an optically precise symmetrical beam which is accurately aimed using a gunsight device. An internal baffle improves efficiency and reduces glare. The result being a lighting installation with excellent uniformity and light control which improves the game experience for players, umpires, broadcasters and spectators.
In February of 2009 the first of the four 20 tonne telescopic floodlighting masts was raised under its own steam and quickly became a big hit with all in attendance.
The bespoke headframes, which are oval in design, instantly became an iconic feature of the Surrey landscape and have attracted praise throughout the cricketing world. Since 2009, the Kennington Oval has gone on to host many top level cricket matches late into the evenings under their unique floodlighting solution.
The Challenger® 3 delivers an optically precise symmetrical beam specifically designed and suited to stadium floodlighting requirements.
Abacus’ comprehensive range of telescopic masts has been developed to address the increasingly difficult planning equirements that clients have to meet in ‘sensitive’ locations. This highly engineered, patented solution provides the ideal alternative to fixed-mast floodlighting – even in space-restricted areas.