What is the best seat when watching a cricket match in a stadium?
Is it right behind the bowler’s arm atop the sight-screen or is it the top tier behind the fielder at deep square-leg or is it on the edge of the fence at long-off. Every fan has a personal favourite, depending on the ticket price of course. But imagine watching a day-night cricket match from the roof of a stadium.
Sounds unreal? Not anymore.
The Adelaide Oval is now providing fans an opportunity to view the ongoing Test match between Australia and South Africa from the roof of one of its grandstands. Those watching the broadcast of the Test saw images of The Richies - a group of Cricket fans dressed as former Australian Test Cricketer and Commentator Richie Benaud - seated 50 meters above the ground and over the roof.
And as the broadcast progressed through the now famous twilight period, another group of spectators were seen soaking in the view from the high vantage point, while waving arms and visibly thrilled to bits.
The whole project is the Adelaide Oval’s initiative to promote tourism. Since its opening in April 2016, tourists and cricket fans can purchase tickets for a ‘roof climb’ that takes them atop the stadium’s roof on the Riverbank Side for a breathtaking view of the stadium and the city of Adelaide.
For approximately $225, fans get to watch 6 to 7 overs of the match from this vantage point. The package also provides you with memorabilia to last a lifetime – a printed photo, a souvenir cap, a certificate of achievement and a USB photo pack with all the pictures from the climb.
And this climb isn’t restricted to just when a Test match is being played. Tourists and enthusiasts can book a day-tour or a tour during the twilight hour. There’s also the roof climb and dinner experience where Adelaide’s finest cuisine is served at a restaurant overlooking the Adelaide turf soon after the climb.
Needless to say, safety and security is priority and all climbers are briefed ahead of the climb and accompanied by a leader during the climb.
Climbers are also provided with a climbing suit, glasses, safety harness and an ear piece that allows the climber to hear the leader’s instructions when on the climb.
Also, all climbers have to undergo a breath analysis test and register a blood alcohol reading of under 0.05% at the time of check-in to be permitted begin the climb.
Speaking to the media during the launch of the ‘roof climb’ earlier this year, Adelaide Oval SMA Chairman John Olsen had said that the initiative was a dream. “This has been a dream of ours ever since we first began operating the Adelaide Oval more than two-and-a-half years ago.”
And ever since the launch, fans have been lapping up the experience.