Neighbours give lights thumbs up

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2014
Basin Reserve

LIGHT 'EM UP: Wellington cricket ground the Basin Reserve looks set to have floodlights installed so night matches can be played at the historic venue.

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A plan to floodlight the Basin Reserve has won support from residents in neighbouring suburbs.

The Dominion Post reported yesterday that the Basin Reserve Trust and Cricket Wellington were looking at installing lights at the Wellington ground, and a test match against Australia could be played under lights as soon as next year.

Also floated was the prospect of football and rugby using the ground.

Mt Victoria Residents' Association president Elaine Hampton said it would be a "very good thing" if the Basin Reserve was used to its full capacity.

She had not yet discussed the floodlight idea with her committee, but she believed there would be very few complaints from residents about lighting, as long as it was turned off at a reasonable time.

Even the extra pressure on parking in the central Wellington suburb was not a problem, she said. "When there's a big event, you just deal with it. It doesn't happen that often."

If night events became common - for example, more than three a week - something would probably have to be done about parking, she said.

Newtown Residents' Association president Martin Hanley was also behind the floodlighting idea, pointing out the Basin Reserve was well served by public transport and that, after games, people could either head to the city or to Newtown for a meal and drink.

When floodlighting was installed at the National Hockey Stadium in Newtown years ago, it lit up the surrounding area like a "spaceship landing" area, he said.

But Newtown's Rugby League Park, which installed floodlighting recently, used newer technology that lit the grounds with minimal outside light spill. "I would expect that same level of technology would be used here."

The association was keen on the "intensification of existing facilities", rather than building new ones, and increased use of the Basin Reserve worked well with this thinking.

Mt Cook Mobilised spokesman Peter Cooke said the group supported anything to enhance the use of the Basin Reserve, including floodlighting.

Wellington Rugby Football Union chief executive James Te Puni said it was possible that big club games could be played under lights at the Basin Reserve, but he emphasised that Westpac Stadium was the home of the Wellington Lions and the Hurricanes, and would remain so for the "foreseeable future".

Those teams would consider the Basin Reserve only if Westpac Stadium was not available, he said.

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- The Dominion Post

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