May 29th – Under Lights

Under Lights

These light towers turn day into night, and have been doing so for over 35 years.

As a means to play cricket at night, six light-towers were installed at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1978 at a cost of $1.2m. By far one of the most ambitious projects undertaken of the time. Over time they have been replaced, but they are essentially the same structures.

The construction of lights gave rise to Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, and in turn the One Day Cricket phenomenon. Night-cricket quickly became something inherently “Sydney”, and something I grew up with as a late 70’s and early 80’s kid growing up in Sydney.

It wasn’t long before the VFL/AFL caught on. With Geoffrey Edelstein’s Sydney Swans being re-homed (from South Melbourne), night sports at the SCG became a regular entertainment venue, with a little bit of Broadway as the Swannette’s belted out their single-dance (“Show ’em, HUH, Show ’em, HUH ….”) every time the Swans booted a goal.

On this occasion the lights made sure I could find my way to a bus, following the calculated dismemberment of my beloved Carlton Blues.

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