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Manuka Oval Canberra, Canberra, ACT

The main venue for AFL and cricket in the Australian Capital Territory.

Manuka Oval is a 13,550 capacity stadium located in Canberra and is highly valued as the main venue for AFL and cricket within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Manuka Oval’s redevelopment main objective was to create an international standards facility that was cutting edge.

To ensure that Manuka Oval remains an attractive venue for first class sporting events the first stage of project included the installation of sports lighting for television broadcast. The sport lighting - designed by Arup, Cox Architecture, and Abacus Lighting - aspired to elevate day to day structures into elegant, slender, distinctive forms creating the effect of ‘embracing’ the Oval.

The lights enable Manuka Oval to be used for evening events. Extending into evening hours expanded the opportunity for scheduling games to meet the increasing demands of major national and international events, and created economic benefits for local traders and the wider community.

The lighting installation was recently recognised by both architectural and lighting design communities: it received an Urban Design award at the AIA ACT Chapter Architecture Awards and a Lighting Design Award of Commendation in the IES NSW / ACT Lighting Design Awards.  It was also declared by key stakeholders as to be possibly the best in the country.

Complementing the redevelopment of the sports lighting and bringing the playing surface up to international standards, Arup produced the documentation for the redevelopment of the turf oval including new cricket wickets. The existing turf playing surface had minimal drainage infrastructure and the single cross-fall across the playing surface significantly impacted on spectator sight lines.

Our involvement in the upgrading and integrating of existing facilities contributing to patrons amenities and enabled more efficient running of the Oval for major events. This was achieved by providing a ‘ring of infrastructure’, increasing the ground capacity, and providing electrical and communications services to incorporate sports technology within the Oval.