Dandenong Thunder to enjoy $700,000 LED lighting upgrade at George Andrews Reserve

Dandenong Thunder lighting upgrade

Greater Dandenong Council and Dandenong Thunder have recently confirmed that works have commenced for new powerful lighting towers to be built at George Andrews Reserve.

The upgrade will cost $700,000 and is being jointly funded by Greater Dandenong Council ($500,000) and the State Government ($200,000) with a plan to improve the ground’s overall quality for both training and matches. They formerly had 200-lux LED towers and they will be replaced by 500-lux towers.

For the Greater Dandenong local council, the focus was to improve the facility for the community to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits through the increased amount of playable hours at the reserve.

Importantly, the project ensures that the Thunder have a ground that is up to professional competition and broadcast standards which means they can broadcast and host games that are viewed by a national audience, a huge step forward for the NPL Victoria club.

This broadcast upgrade also opens up the possibility to expand to national matches involving the Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City A-League women’s teams and an even more ambitious goal of hosting a Matildas game. The ground can easily hold 5000 people and the lighting and broadcasting standards will be fantastic after this upgrade.

Dandenong Thunder shared the positive implications this light upgrade has for the club.

“The new lights mean the club will be able to host a number of games, not only that but it’s a step forward to the clubs ambition to be part of the NSD (national second division),” a club spokesperson told Soccerscene.

“The support from local council has been nothing but fantastic, Dandenong want to be a sporting hub for the south east suburbs.

“With the FA cup we have seen A-League clubs play at local level clubs, having these new high powered lights we will be able to broadcast at a higher quality, no more yellow light broadcast.”

This news presents an exciting future for Dandenong Thunder and the matches played at George Andrews Reserve. The quality of training, matches and broadcasts has improved tenfold and it matches the size of the NPL Victoria side that have big ambitions.

Saudi Arabia’s sporting presence strengthens

Saudi Arabia’s continuous growth within its entertainment sector has taken another major stride, with the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) involved in the creation of a futuristic Sports and Entertainment Stadium set to overlook the ever evolving, city of Riyadh.

Named after the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, The Mohammad bin Salman Stadium will hold up to 45,000 spectators.

The QIC enlisted the guidance of globally renowned architecture firm “Populous”, to assist with the conception of the complex stadium. Bold provisions, involving a retractable roof and LED wall, enable the stadium to transition depending on the requirements of the various events, it may host.

Ranging from lightshows, Football Matches, Boxing Events, E-Sport competitions. The question now begs, what Sport can it not host?

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has spearheaded the project, determined to guide Qiddiya, to ultimately become the World’s leading district of Sports and Entertainment. While aiming attention at shifting Saudi Arabia’s culture, through the Qiddiya philosophy,” the Power of Play”.

The Power of Play philosophy leverages extensive research showcasing how interactive activity is vital for cognitive development within society. How sport can be a driving force for unification and social cohesion.

The Stadium is another symbol, indicating the Saudi Arabian presence among the world Sport, becoming more ominous. However, what affect will this stadium have on Football? It is no surprise, given the financial competence, how Saudi Arabia continue to set trends within world football. World class players within Europe are beginning to trade continents, chasing more lucrative paydays abroad.

In what mirrors the stadium and its bold ambitions, Saudi Arabia continues to command its voice to be heard, on a global front in relation to their football. They can no longer be ignored. This state-of-the-art stadium is just another aspect of what the country is capable of, in becoming a football powerhouse.

It is beyond exciting to see Saudi Arabia spearhead a renaissance of football within Asia. Let’s see what magical moments can be created at this exciting location.

PepsiCo and Roshn Saudi League collaborate to increase fan base

The Roshn Saudi League (SPL) has confirmed a substantial agreement with PepsiCo, which will benefit both the league and its fans.

According to the terms of the arrangement, PepsiCo’s engagement will last until the completion of the current RSL season and the full 2024/25 campaign. The partnership will see PepsiCo’s well-known brands integrated into various aspects of the league’s operations, with Aquafina serving as the league’s official water partner, Pepsi as the official soft drink partner, Gatorade as the official sports drink partner, and Lay’s as the official potato chips sponsor.

The alliance intends to improve fans’ match day experiences through a series of activations and events that leverage PepsiCo’s global reputation for quality and innovation. This initiative demonstrates the RSL’s commitment to creating unique and entertaining experiences for its devoted fans.

This collaboration with PepsiCo builds on Lay’s current sponsorship of the Saudi Women’s Premier League, consolidating PepsiCo’s position in the Saudi football scene and confirming the company’s commitment to football development at all levels.

Carlo Nohra, Chief Operating Officer of the Roshn Saudi League, explained why the deal would work for both sides.

“We are delighted to welcome PepsiCo into the RSL family as a gold partner,” he said via press release.

“This partnership aligns with our mission to offer fans innovative and engaging experiences. PepsiCo’s commitment to football and its global reputation for quality will undoubtedly enhance our league’s appeal and the overall fan experience.”

Aamer Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Middle East Business Unit added via press release:

“We are thrilled to join hands with The Roshn Saudi League as Gold Sponsors for the season. This partnership signifies a shared commitment of excellence, passion, and the pursuit of victory. Together, we aim to elevate the beautiful game to new heights, delivering unforgettable experiences for fans and fostering a legacy of greatness.”

This partnership with PepsiCo, who are well-known for its strong ties in the sports and entertainment industry, underlines the importance of the league to collaborating with organisations that share a passion for football and its fans.

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