Viewing sport from Adelaide Oval’s historical hot seat

Cricket, SANFL, Sport — By on June 9, 2014 9:42 PM

by DYLAN RUSSELL

Adelaide Oval’s illustrious scoreboard has emphatically stood the test of time, but often forgotten are the people behind every updated run, wicket or goal.

The scoreboard operators have, like the scoreboard, learnt to endure regardless of the spectacle, and it is their internal vigour that keeps patrons well-informed.

Zack Jackman is one of five scoreboard operators active during all codes of sport at the Oval.

Since the ground’s $535 million redevelopment and in turn the AFL’s arrival, slight adjustments have been made to the scoreboard operation.

“Now, both the AFL clubs give us standard messages to put on one side … so you only need one or two people to actually do the scoreboard,” Jackman said.

But for someone as passionate about sport as Jackman, there are negatives of sweating it out from behind the figures, and that is missing the chance to actively support from the stands.

“I think I’ve been to two cricket matches as a spectator in the last seven years, but I’ve been there for every cricket match (in the scoreboard),” Jackman said.

For some, Jackman’s job may sound like the greatest sporting ticket of all, a year-round pass to one of Australia’s most iconic sporting venues.

At times, Jackman has envied the freedom of the fans below, but potential payment is a swift reminder of his priorities.

“The first Showdown (at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval), the noise the Port supporters made down the far end was quality … the Port crowds have all been brilliant,” Jackman said.

Jackman does not pledge allegiance to the Crows nor the Power, and unfortunately for Crows fans, he was working outside the stadium for Adelaide’s ‘noisy’ moment against Collingwood.

Nonetheless, Adelaide Oval is the centrepiece of sport in South Australia and Jackman is fortunate enough to experience the greatest of sporting moments from Adelaide’s box seat.

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