World cup (2)
Shanghai 12th June 2010
So we are off to a start at the world cup with the hosts South Africa holding the Mexicans to a 1 -1 draw in an entertaining match last night in Soccer City. This is the name of the main soccer venue in Cape Town, designed in the shape of the African calabash, a bit reminiscent of the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. I watched the match with some friends and colleagues in a local Shanghai pub last night.
Don’t worry I am not going to report daily on this event, it is just that while watching a few more things struck me in regards to lighting, even though this match was played in daylight. The late afternoon sun provided some interesting shadows in the stadium. It is interesting to note that we accept this strong shadowing during the day as a given, but balk at this happening at night! How easily we can change our views and tolerances!
Sports venues like this are not designed solely for the purpose of soccer anymore. They have become multifunctional venues suitable to cater for other sports and mass events such as rock concerts, complete with retail, restaurant and meeting facilities. Lighting of these multi functional venues therefore has to be adaptable to the functions it hosts. We therefore see that the demand for the floodlighting systems are much more challenging and a much greater variety of systems including multi colored and dynamic intelligent lights are being applied.
But by far the largest lighting component nowadays goes into multi-media LED screens, in all forms and shapes. Most obvious during the opening game yesterday were the illuminated LED advertisement panels (even during the day!) which border and surround the complete field. With so many cameras’ capturing the action from many different angles (including overhead camera’s), the commercial messages are visible in every camera shot. The attentive viewer would even have noticed Chinese companies advertising! The giant TV screens are omnipresent in the stadium as well.
I have not been in this particular stadium but have visited several of these new commercial sports hubs and I can tell you that decorative and multi-media LED walls are a must have component of the lighting design. Even the TV studio’s reporting on the events are one big LED happening, with LED screens build in the floor, the walls and the presentors table…