THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The University Stadium will soon become the only sports venue in the city to be equipped with floodlights as the erection of the masts began here on Friday, preparing the stadium to host the 35th National Games. The first of the four 50.5-metre-high poles weighing 19.5 tonnes each was erected on Friday with the help of a crane. The other masts are expected to be set up in a week’s time, after which the installation of the lights will begin.
The floodlights, once installed, will provide 750 lux at the centre of the stadium, which will provide ample lighting for television broadcast from the venue, which will host the athletics events at the Games scheduled to be held from January 31 to February 14 next year.
Each mast will carry 62 metal-halide lamps which will be installed after the poles are erected. KITCO is the consultant, while the US-based General Electric has been contracted for lighting up the stadium at a cost of Rs 4.76 crore.
“We expect to erect the four poles in a week, but considering the rain, it could take a little longer than that,” said sources at KITCO. The National Games Secretariat has given the contractors a deadline of September 31 to complete the project.
The installation of the permanent floodlights at the University Stadium also enables it to hold football matches like the G V Raja all-India football tournament under the lights.