AAMI Park’s award winning pitch is set to undergo a full turf replacement this November in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup.
The resurfacing project – the first to occur at AAMI Park since the stadium was opened in 2010 – will ensure the pitch is at the highest possible standard for the biggest football tournament ever held in Australia, with an estimated television audience of some 800 million people.
The project will commence after the Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix A-League fixture on Monday 3 November, and will be completed by the time Melbourne City play the Central Coast Mariners on 16 November.
No scheduled events will be compromised as a result of the works.
AAMI Park’s General Manager, Shane Mates, said the project will ensure the pitch is in optimum condition ahead of the seven Asian Cup matches scheduled for January 2015.
“We place the highest priority on ensuring our pitch maintains the pristine condition that our visitors and clubs have come to expect,” he said.
“After four years of high use, and with the Asian Cup around the corner, this replacement is crucial to ensuring the quality of the turf is absolutely world-class.”
The 136 x 82m rectangular pitch has won wide acclaim and various awards both locally and internationally, including back-to-back Professional Footballers Association Best Pitch Awards in 2012 and 2013.
“The pitch has held up remarkably well over the past four years, meeting the demands of football, rugby and rugby league – at times simultaneously when the three codes’ seasons intersect,” Mr Mates said.
“We’re proud of the fact that AAMI Park is widely acknowledged as having one of the best playing surfaces in Australia.”
The replacement turf has been growing in Pakenham since late 2013 and will be transported to AAMI Park this week. Overseeing the replacement will be AAMI Park’s Sportsfield Coordinator Justin Lang, whose expertise was called on for a six week consultancy at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil earlier this year.
“Our horticulture team is well equipped to ensure the project will be completed successfully and in time for Melbourne City’s Round 6 match on 16 November,” Mr Mates said.
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