NO TUBE? WE LOSE

A MAJOR power supply upgrade for Lavington Oval is required to stage televised major sporting events including A-League soccer and AFL pre-season games at night.

More than $500,000 has already been spent on bringing the lux levels up to the minimum requirement for AFL games.

But the bar has been raised with pay television channel Foxtel, which broadcasts AFL, rugby league, rugby union and soccer games, requiring even stronger lights to telecast games in high definition.

Installing them wouldelevate Lavington Oval above other regional venues vying for top-level sporting action.

Albury Council director James Jenkins revealed what was needed when he replied to a question from Cr Darren Cameron last week.

“I was surprised when I was told it was the reason we were being held back from having night games at Lavington,” Cr Cameron said yesterday.

“It is something we need to look at as we’ve done a great job in getting these events.”

Mr Jenkins confirmed the lights were upgraded to 500 lux after the AFL told the council repeatedly they weren’t at a standard to host matches that weren’t televised at the time.

“At this stage there isn’t the opportunity to boost the lux level without a major upgrade of the power supply,” he said.

“It is one of the things the council has identified it would like to do.”

Mr Jenkins didn’t give an estimated cost.

The council has already invested heavily in the ground with an electronic scoreboard and improved parking since buying the site from Panthers Entertainment Group in 2009.

Since then it has hosted an A-League soccer game for points between Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory — with 5000 spectators — and the City versus Country rugby league clash in 2011.

Recent AFL pre-season games at Wangaratta and Wagga were televised by Foxtel, but started late afternoon due to their lights also not being strong enough for play to be shown in high definition.

The same reason forced last month’s A-League game at Lavington to start in 40-degree heat in the mid-afternoon.

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