Hybrid turf rolled out at Perth Stadium

2 August 2017

If fans at Perth Stadium really want to be pedantic, they’ll insist that any opening batsman or half back flank claiming a ‘home turf advantage’ hails from Serpentine.

That’s where 18,000sqm of grass was painstakingly planted, grown and harvested from for installation at the Burswood facility ahead of its opening next year.

It was a big and complex operation which started at Greenacres Turf Group’s farm, WA’s largest, about 77km south of Perth nearly two years ago.

The grass is a state-of-the art turf system demanded by modern stadium operators and elite athletes for its evenness, stability and durability.

The fibres of artificial grass were infilled with sand where wintergreen, couch and rye seeds were planted.

The result is hybrid system, which is 40mm thick and 10 per cent artificial grass, will be harvested from Greenacres in one-tonne, 10 metre-long strips.

Greenacres Turf Group director Peter Pitsikas said the company was proud to be associated with what will become an iconic WA venue.

“There won’t be won’t really be a home ground advantage because we’ve done AAMI Park, the MCG and ANZ Stadium,” he said.

“If you looked at it, you couldn’t tell the difference (between 100 per cent natural grass), but it’s a very durable, uniform consistent surface.”

Hamish Sutherland, managing director of HG Sports Turf which designed and constructed the sports field for Perth Stadium, said the stabilised turf system would provide durability for the venue’s event’s schedule which will include concerts as well as sports fixtures.

“If you put loads on it, like during a concert, it will support those loads but if a concert damages the grass, for instance if they decide to cover the grass for one or two weeks, we are able to roll this grass up and put some new grass in,” he said. “We will have a retainer at Greenacres Turf Group for that purpose.”

Five “grow lights” will be positioned on the northern side of the ground where about 7000sqm will be shaded during winter to provide light for photosynthesis and warmth to stimulate growth.

A perimeter of synthetic grass, providing a buffer between the playing surface and stands, will be laid over cushioning “shock pad” made from recycled car dash boards.

“So if a player runs or slides onto that synthetic turf perimeter, it’s all tested and safe for them to fall on,” Mr Sutherland said.