A $250,000 state-of-the-art scoreboard has been installed at University Oval. Completed in September, the scoreboard is part of Melbourne University Sport’s (MU Sport) three-year plan to upgrade facilities at the Oval.
The electronic scoreboard runs remotely from the scorers’ box and sits on the southern side of the Oval, accessible to players and spectators.
The old scoreboard was purchased for $30,000 twenty years ago by Melbourne University Cricket Club (MUCC). According to Facilities Manager
Paul Reading, the upgrade was needed as the old scoreboard had become impossible to find replacement parts for.
“$250,000 is obviously a lot of money but [it] will be an asset to the Oval for decades to come,” said former Newman College football captain, Liam Maiden.
The project was facilitated by MU Sport in consultation with stakeholders, primarily Melbourne University Football Club and MUCC.
According to General Manager of MUCC, Jean- Luke Desmarais, the upgraded facilities at University Oval will attract student athletes wishing to combine athletic development with their studies at the University of Melbourne.
“Certainly [the new scoreboard] only consolidates the University of Melbourne’s position as the best university for sport in the country,” said Desmarais.
The scoreboard project follows the $6.7 million refurbishment of Ernie Cropley Pavilion on the Oval’s northern side in 2014. The new scoreboard is part of the University’s plan to attract larger crowds of students to representative matches at the Oval. The first of these is set for March 11, with Melbourne and Monash University going head-to- head in both men’s and women’s T20 cricket.
Future plans for University Oval include renovations to the western grandstand and a refurbishment of paths around the precinct. Maiden believes the project will attract more people to watch sports, from the heritage-listed pavilion.
“Once the [western grandstand] gets upgraded it’ll be a great place to watch footy and cricket from as it is positioned in a perfect spot around the oval,” he said.