Etihad Stadium’s turf has been given the tick of approval by an independent audit prepared for the AFL, following an inspection ahead of the NAB Cup pre-season competition.
The results of recent tests all measured within the AFL guidelines. These included tests for hardness, traction and ground cover.
The analysis was undertaken by AGCSATech and was completed on February 11, 2011 on the day of the opening NAB pre-season round of matches at Etihad Stadium.
The report from the turf inspection delivered the following findings:
“The playing surface had a very good to excellent cover of rye grass. The southern end of the field had recently been completely re-turfed... and was presenting a very uniform, consistent coverage.”
“The surface levels are very good particularly between each individual Motz roll and also the interface with existing turf.”
“The surface hardness of the outfield is within acceptable limits. The results on this occasion have the overall field in the low normal range for the first drop and within the high normal range for the third drop.
The above diagram indicates the areas of the playing surface that were tested for hardness
The above table lists the results of the hardness testing
SURFACE TRACTION AND STABILITY
“The traction of the entire field falls within the preferred range and there was minimal difference between any locations.”
The stadium’s Arena Management team has recently undertaken an extensive turf replacement program at the southern end of the playing surface.
While smaller scale turf replacements are conducted at most venues throughout a season, it is rare to have such a large area of turf replaced. The venue normally maintains the playing surface by growing turf ‘in situ’, however on this occasion a full replacement was considered the preferred option.
Stadium CEO Ian Collins said he is happy with the recent replacement program and feels it was the correct option leading into the AFL season.
“Instead of trying to grow it ‘in situ’ we decided to take the radical approach and replace and, in the end, that decision was probably the better way to go,” Mr Collins said.
“If this stands up the way we expect it to, that’s the type of formula we’ll use going forward.
“We think it will withstand the season. We’ve got the back-up to make sure it will sustain the level (of activity) and present very well for football especially during the winter.”
The ground undergoes regular inspections throughout the AFL season, involving representatives from the AFL, AFL Players Association, competing clubs and Etihad Stadium. In addition, regular testing of hardness and traction are conducted and communicated to all parties.
Turf Replacement Images
Below are a selection of images from Etihad Stadium’s recent turf replacement program.
The southern end of Etihad Stadium during the replacement
Turf contractors assisted the venue’s Arena Management team with the replacement (above and below)
The finished product