Al Shamal Stadium, Qatar

Type of works: design of four corner turret structures from the Stadium telescopic mast range.

Reinforcing its commitment to providing bespoke sports lighting solutions and following three years of intensive design and development, Abacus has introduced its new Stadium range of telescopic masts. These unique floodlighting masts can now be extended up to 45m high and lowered when not in use, effectively minimising their daytime visual impact on the environment.

Abacus’s European Sales & Marketing Director, Mike Hallam, commented: “We’re really excited about this new innovation which has been three years in development. Planners worldwide are placing increasing constraints on the size and nature of floodlighting structures at sports stadia, particularly in residential zones and areas of architectural interest. The unique design of the telescopic masts enables them to be lowered telescopically to half their operating height, meaning that visual intrusion is minimal when the masts are not in use.”

Abacus has invested around £0.25 million in time and materials and has had to overcome a number of design challenges in order to successfully develop the larger masts.

Mike said: “One factor is that the head weights, which can now hold up to 110 2kW floodlights, are significantly heavier. The significant bulk of electrical cables also posed a problem. We originally looked at placing the cables on the outside to avoid the problems associated with multiples of large diameter cables folding and tangling inside the structure. However, this made the masts rather unappealing to the eye. We are delighted to say that our engineers solved the problem ingeniously resulting in a very imposing and impressive looking mast without external cables.”

The elegant structures can telescope to their full height in approximately 10 minutes and operation can be carried out either locally or from a remote central point.
The first stadium to benefit from the new Stadium telescopic mast range is the new Al Shamal Stadium in Qatar. The ground-breaking stadium has been designed with four corner turret structures around the football field which mimic the original Al Shamal fort itself. The 43m masts will disappear down inside each of the four turrets when not in use, allowing the stadium to maintain its low profile.

The floodlighting for the stadium has been designed to meet HDTV standards of 2,000 lux for TV transmissions and the masts will each carry up to 105 Challenger® 3 2kW floodlights.

Mike concluded: “We are in the process of actively pursuing other projects in the UK and overseas, and are very optimistic for the future of the telescopic structures. Abacus has been at the forefront of mast engineering innovation for 50 years and we look forward to working with our customers to overcome their own stadium development challenges in the future.”

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