Elwood Park sportsgrounds upgrade

The Elwood Park sportsgrounds are a popular venue for local residents and sports clubs including cricket, soccer, touch football and junior AFL football. We are seeing more people using our local sportsgrounds, especially in junior and women’s sport.
Resurfacing in progress on Esplanade Oval


Elwood Park, Elwood



Why are we doing this?

We are upgrading the lighting and playing surface to enable the ongoing support of our local community’s health and wellbeing, and to comply with the Australian Standard for sports lighting (AS 2560.2.3 Football All Codes Lighting Standard).

Council plans to improve the playing surfaces of Esplanade Oval in 2019/20 and Wattie Watson Oval in 2020/21 as part of Council's Sportsground Renewal Program.

These works will complement the scheduled lighting improvements in 2019/20 and provide uniformity with the resurfacing of Head Street Oval that was completed in 2017.

The impact

Esplanade Oval will be completely closed while the playing surface is upgraded and the grass is grown in with the anticipated open time for the surface sometime around mid-2020. The lighting project is also planned to be completed by mid-2020 with both oval and lights to be used during the 2020 winter sports season.

Wattie Watson Oval and Head Street Oval will remain open during the upgrades, however, minor disruptions may occur around the perimeter of the sports fields.

The expected upgrade timelines are:

  • December 2019 sportsground surface upgrade contract awarded.
  • January 2020 sportsground lighting upgrade contract awarded.
  • January 2020 to mid 2020 Esplanade Oval surface upgrade.
  • March 2020 to mid 2020 Elwood Reserve sportsground lighting upgrade.
  • October 2020 to April 2021 Wattie Watson Oval surface upgrade.


There are currently four existing poles that will be removed. The project will see the installation of 17 new poles, with heights ranging between 20 to 28 metres.

The lighting upgrade will utilise high performance exterior technology, with the latest LED and dimming technology that will lower power consumption and eliminate upward light and increase lamp life, reducing maintenance.

The works that Council are doing to reconstruct Esplanade Oval will improve drainage of the oval compared to existing conditions and more rainwater will penetrate the surface and act to mitigate flooding while warm season grass will achieve irrigation savings compared to traditional cool-season grasses.

The pole locations along with motion sensors and centralised programming will allow for lighting to be focused directly on the sports ground area. This allows light distribution to be precisely controlled, eliminating light pollution to surrounding properties.

Light pole locations around Wattie Watson Oval, Esplanade Oval and Head Street Ovals A and B
Concept image of the light spill over the three sporting grounds

Improved technology

The lights will be angled to achieve the minimum 100 lux lighting average across the sports grounds to meet State Sporting Association minimum standards.

Lighting coverage

A lighting plan has been developed to efficiently light the sportsground, meeting current needs and future standards.

Lighting hours

The sportsgrounds are already heavily utilised for night time training. There are currently no plans to alter the hours that the lights will be on.

Works to date

Other recent Elwood Reserve works included the Open Space Irrigation program, which connected recycled water to Head Street Reserve and the Elwood Croquet Club. The enhancement of the Elsternwick Storm water harvesting scheme also increased flow capacity to these sites.

The Elwood Park Pavilion was upgraded in 2009, and included four new female-friendly change rooms, together with shower and toilet facilities.

The upgrade has resulted in increased female and junior participation at Elwood Park.

More information

For more information, questions or updates about the project, contact us.