Musco calls on the expertise of Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC for lighting project at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium

10th October 2017

When UAE football giants Al Ain FC determined that their Hazza bin Zayed Stadium was in need of a lighting overhaul to meet the requirements of not just television broadcasting, but also the 2017 and 2018 FIFA Club World Cups and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, they assigned Musco Lighting to design and install the new system mid-season between matches.

When it first opened, the 25,000-seater stadium gained international acclaim for a number of architectural elements, including an innovative parasol roof. This unique structure, where every angle and mounting point is different, meant that the cross arms on which the314 new LED fixtures would be mounted,had to be custom built. To facilitate such a major project, Musco Lighting commissioned Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC to ensure the safe removal of all the old stadium lighting and the installation of the new LED array.

The major challenge of the project was timing. The original schedule, of the beginning of August to early October, soon narrowed because of an external event to a final deadline of September 25. Time was then further constricted by a global cyber-attack on shipping lines,which delayed delivery of materials by two weeks, reducing that original nine-week window to just over five weeks.

Fortunately the delay in delivery of materials did not affect Unusual Rigging’s element of the project, and they were able to begin work immediately. Temporary lifting platforms, capable of taking a 200kg safe working load, had to be designed and installed in both the east and west roofs. These platforms enabled the riggers to disconnect and remove the 200 existing stadium lights and ballast. The existing cabling was then re-positioned and 82 new cables installed on the west roof. Once the cabling was in position, the riggers could install the new bracketry and 314 new LED fixtures.

With the state-of-the-art system in place, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium became the first stadium in the UAE to feature LED lighting and, despite the constrictions put on the schedule, the project was complete and ready to go on September 21 – four days ahead of the final deadline.