New scoreboard for University Oval

Work has begun on the frame which will house the new scoreboard at the University Oval. PHOTO...
Work has begun on the frame which will house the new scoreboard at the University Oval. PHOTO PETER MCINTOSH
Changes  are continuing to be made at the University Oval.

The old Carisbrook scoreboard at the Oval came down last week and its $110,000 replacement will go up early next month.

Its successor has been used at Forsyth Barr Stadium during the past two years and is 32sq m.

``It has got all the modern technology and only about 2-years-old,'' Otago Cricket Association chief executive Mike Coggan said.

``It has hardly had any use.''

The old one, which had started its life at Carisbrook ``was pretty much defunct in terms of a cricket scoreboard.''

``It was too big to take down in one piece so it was taken down in parts and had been chopped up as scrap metal.''

The University Oval has certainly changed a lot since last summer. The embankments have been upgraded, expanding the ground's capacity from 3500 to meet New Zealand Cricket's minimum requirement of 6000 for international grounds.

The project was priced at $750,000 and the Otago Cricket Association committed $100,000 of its cash reserves to help make it happen.

The work is nearing an end and, in a newsletter, Coggan said the venue was ``really taking shape with grass now coming through on both embankments''.

``We really want this ground to have a different feel than any other ground in New Zealand. With its contrasting embankments, old grandstand, colour and backdrop, we see it being the most picturesque boutique international cricket ground in New Zealand if not on the planet.''

At the moment, the outside of the embankments are covered in coconut matting and, quite frankly, look a little ugly.

``There is 2500sq m there which needs to be planted out and that will come at a cost of around $40-50,000.''

Coggan is hopeful by March, when the Blacks Caps host South Africa in a test at the venue, the Western embankments will be covered in flourishing shrubs ``because it will be quite an eyesore if it is just left as coconut matting''.

The coconut matting is there to stop weeds coming through and rots away after a couple of years.

``We have an opportunity to make that area quite beautiful, we just have to work out how we are going to do that.''

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