No one is hurt as lights crash down
Lights on a temporary tower at Eden Park came crashing to the ground in an accident early last month as contractors were lifting them into place.
But replacements will be ready by the time Auckland face Wellington in the Air new Zealand Cup on September 20. It will be the first match played at the park under the new temporary lighting system.
Eden Park Redevelopment Board chief executive Adam Feeley says one of the temporary light stands was almost in place when a shackle on the crane erecting it broke.
“The lights that have been damaged have to be replaced in their entirety.”
Mr Feeley says the damaged lights are worth tens of thousands of dollars, although insurance will cover the cost. He is just pleased no one was hurt. “The first thing you worry about is human injury. The second thing is the impact.”
Four temporary light towers will be in place for future rugby night matches, which will compensate for the lights recently removed from the old south stand.
They will be used in conjunction with the lights on the ASB Stand to fully illuminate the park.
Former Auckland coach Pat Lam, who has since stepped down to take up the role of head coach at the Blues, says he’s not sure how the relatively short height of the temporary lights will affect games.
He says the main problem could be visibility when the ball is kicked high in the air, above the lights.
But Mr Lam and his replacement Shane Howarth have enjoyed the new temporary coaches box, located on the sideline in front of the old south stand.
“We almost don’t need walkie-talkies. We could almost talk to them out on the ground.”
Mr Lam has also noticed a change in the direction of the wind, with large holes in the side of the stadium.
“It’s the sacrifice we have to make for a better stadium.”
The lights will be removed from temporary towers and incorporated into the new South Stand.