Big switch-on for new era of floodlit racing at Southwell

The home straight and grandstands at Southwell Racecourse, under the floodlights.
The home straight and grandstands at Southwell Racecourse, under the floodlights.

The lights will be turned on at Southwell Racecourse on Saturday to usher in a new era of floodlit racing at the popular track.

A six-race Flat meeting takes place on Southwell’s all-weather fibresand course from 6 pm to 8.30 pm.

And it is expected to attract a large crowd for an historic fixture that unveils some of the most advanced lighting technology of any racecourse in Europe.

The LED floodlights were designed and engineered by industry-leader Musco Sports Lighting, and features the same technology installed at several Premier League football stadiums, the Manchester Arena and Winbledon’s Centre Court.

Mark Clayton, executive director at Southwell, said: “When the decision was taken to install floodlights, we were detemined to make sure they were top of the range.

“They provide fantastic light to the track, while minimising any light spill to other areas. Feedback from jockeys who have tried out the lights has been very good, and we are looking forward to welcoming a bumper crowd on Saturday for the big switch-on.”

The lights cover not only the whole track but also the parade ring, stables and car park. They can be dimmed on parts of the course not being used for a particular race, resulting in significant energy savings.

Jeff Rogers, president of Musco, said: “We are fairly certain this is the first racecourse anywhere in the world using LED technology. It will create an exciting, new experience for spectators.”