NIB Stadium turf could be completed earlier

Chris Egan  |  Thursday 1st August 2013
NIB Stadium

Follow-up article to: Subiaco could host Glory

The turf reconstruction at NIB Stadium could be completed in a shorter timeframe than the government has scheduled and a more flexible 'handover' date should be adopted according to leading turf scientist Bernie Proctor.

In an exclusive interview with Austadiums, Proctor explained that depending on weather, the venue could be ready to host Perth Glory's first game on 13th October against Adelaide United.

"I personally think, given the four months, it is a little on the 'long' side. It is always a fluid date, and it should not be held in stone"

"In a perfect world, with fine weather, quicker than planned works, and warmer temperatures, a day early handover could take place, and I feel that one party may just be holding a 'trump card' and playing hardball for whatever reason; which is not particularly fair. "

However Proctor said warranty concerns could be part of the reason behind the refusal to move the handover date to accommodate the Glory.

"The warrantable period of the turf would then extend out and beyond the day of play, and by them moving that date to accommodate a game, could well then void any warranty that may be in place as the turf may or may not be established to a design specification."

"Personally, I think it would also be unwise to book an event so close to an expected completion date of any long planned works program."

With surfaces at A-League games under fire by many supporters, particularly those at multi-sports venues, Proctor believes the FFA needs to gain a better understanding of turf.

"Engaging in communications with the curator/groundsman, rather than living in an ideal world! The guys and girls on the ground are the best people to listen to when it comes to surface conditions and times. The local knowledge they have, really is paramount when capital works programs are being conducted.

Not knowing what the FFA composition is made up from, but assuming that they have members that are from a sporting or business background, rather than sporting or agronomy/greenkeeping background. To put it bluntly, limited knowledge and reliance on others to make high level decisions that only impact on the grounds crews."

Proctor explains what will be done over the next four months of turf reconstruction at the multi-purpose venue.

"Depending on the outcome of the soil analysis, there is soil de-compaction and soil reconditioning (where the turf is removed, and then the soil run through a verti-drain and any compaction or impurities are removed) then, turf establishment."

"This last part is the most critical in a reconstruction perspective in that there is a requirement to have a stable surface, with no possibility of the turf moving/ripping away from the soil profile."

Proctor warns against rushing the reconstruction to ensure it's ready for Perth's first home game.

"It's a harsh reality, the home team wants a world class facility, as we all do, but when its nearing completion, we want to hurry it along so it can be used. Yet, if we do, then it could be damaged and in subsequent years, it may have to be closed and renovated all over again, just for the sake of one game. Is it really worth it?"

by CHRIS EGAN
egan@austadiums.com

HBF Park

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