A SEVERE earthquake in November 2016 was not enough to deter the hardy staff at New Zealand’s “cake tin” — Westpac Stadium in Wellington, and HG Sports Turf, from completing a full replacement of the stadium turf surface on time and ahead of the Christmas period.
It was a project a number of years in the making, from original concept, but completed in under three weeks.
The scope of work was to replace the surface with a ready-to-play surface (Eclipse Stabilised Turf), installing a synthetic perimeter around the boundary and rootzone profile work. The profile work involved removing the existing material down to 100mm to 120mm to remove any old organic material and any hard-pan that had built up.
Fresh sand was imported and amendments incorporated before the field was levelled to design grades before being resurfaced with Eclipse Stabilised Turf.
HG Sports Turf took possession of the site on December 5, 2016, and had up until December 23 to complete the project — full strip out and removal, construction of synthetic ring road and installation of the Eclipse Stabilised Turf.
The new surface and synthetic ring road had to be installed before Christmas to leave the Westpac Stadium staff time to fine tune the final result and complete all pre-match preparations (including line marking and goals, etc) ready for the first game on New Year’s Day.
The stadium came through the first game successfully with great feedback from players, coaches and officials. A busy schedule was in place for the new surface with Rugby Sevens, soccer (including three games in eight days during January), Super Rugby and the Lions Tour as well as concerts all utilising the stadium.