SUNCORP STADIUM CHIEF EXECUTIVE, GEOFF DONAGHY

Suncorp Stadium’s turf contingency plan involved the growing of a replacement full field and provision for potential shade damage replacement turf. It is turf from this contingency stock that is being used to undertake this replacement.

The decision to produce a contingency field was made in November last year after confirmation that the five Rugby World Cup games originally scheduled for Ballymore were to be added to the four already confirmed at Suncorp Stadium. Each game also involves full training sessions by both teams at the venue.

Also taken into account was the RWC’s significance as the biggest sporting event in the world in 2003, and that Suncorp Stadium would host more games than any other venue (including two double-game weekends) over a four week period.

Expressions of Interest to provide turf replacement for the Stadium were advertised in the Courier Mail on December 13, 2002, with Strathayr Turf Systems selected to supply this product.

Strathayr is a pioneer of the instant turf industry in Australia and a world leader in natural turf sportsfield solutions.

The replacement product, MegAyr Turf, comprises turf and synthetic meshing and comes in rolls up to 1.2 metres wide and 6 metres long which weigh about 900kg each. The field is designed to be played upon within two days of being laid. With the Rugby World Cup programme, it was vital that the backup field had the
ability to be laid and used within a short timeframe.

The replacement playing field area will be in place around three weeks before the Stadium’s first RWC game, while the field surrounds will be finalised two weeks prior. The Stadium Operator has fully consulted with both the Australian Rugby Union and RWC officials in developing this contingency plan.

Wednesday, 10 September, 2003