For over 50 years, the triangular plot at the centre of the Macgrath Road in Bengaluru has seen dark nights. That will change by the end of this month as the Bangalore Football Stadium is set to finally get floodlights for hosting its league matches after sunset.
The construction of the Bangalore Football Stadium began way back in 1967 but even to this day, the ground operated without floodlights. The Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA), the custodians of the stadium, and the Bangalore District Football Association (BDFA) could never organise football matches beyond 5.30 pm.
However, since the change of guard at the helm of the KSFA, with NA Haris replacing the ailing AR Khaleel as the president, the BFS is finally being restored to its good old self.
And one of the first things that Haris, the MLA of the Shantinagar constituency under which the stadium falls, did was to task a company to install floodlights at the venue. The BFS will thereby become an alternative venue to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium to host national and international football matches.
Enter Impetus Sports, a sports management company owned by Shakar Rajan. The firm has been at work over the last month and has installed six towers at a cost of Rs 35 lakh at the stadium. While it took so long for the KSFA to come up with the idea, Impetus took just over a month to install the six towers at the stadium.
"The world over, football matches are conducted under lights and even the footballers always look forward to playing under floodlights," Rajan said.
"Even though you can play at 2 pm given that Bangalore has a pleasant weather, there's still a difference in your performance when you play in the afternoon and at 8 pm. Now that we have installed the floodlights, the BDFA can organise its Super Division matches in the evening and you will see how the performance of the players will improve under lights."
The floodlights that have been installed are typically beamed lights with input wattage of 300W to 400W. The capacity of each light would be 150 lumens per watt approximately, which means that high definition (HD) videos cannot be captured at the venue for TV telecast. However, Impetus has provided leeway to install more floodlights, if required, for television broadcast.
Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC played their matches at the Bangalore Football Stadium in their first season, when they were part of the I-League. The club then moved to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium from the 2015 season as the BFS was set to be reconstructed for the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The reconstruction never actually took off because of the KSFA's flawed tender process, leaving the BFS in a state of neglect.
Now, the BFS is finally seeing light at the end of the alley.
The next revamp that the BFS needs is its turf, which was installed way back in 2012 at the cost of Rs 4.5 crore. Plans are on to refurbish the artificial turf at the BFS. Stay tuned.