About 1,900 square metres of turf at Suncorp Stadium will be replaced between 6 and 8 August.

The area to be replaced is at the northern (Caxton St) end from the 20 metre line to one metre behind the goal line for soccer. This section of the field was heavily infected by nematode roundworms earlier this year.

Stadium General Manager, Paul Sergeant said, "the treatment to eliminate the worm was totally successful but it had done significant damage to the root system before it was eradicated. The area of the field covered by good sunlight responded to treatment and is recovering well. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the area in the northern area which is in constant shade. These factors combined with the colder winter weather and constant pressure of top level football matches has led to the decision to replace at this time."

Mr Sergeant said, "turf replacement was part and parcel of sporting fields worldwide. Wear and tear from a busy program of events and training sessions is a fact of life. When you have a natural surface such as grass, nematode attacks can and do occur despite the best efforts of grounds staff. Telstra Stadium suffered from a nematode attack last year and, only this week, it was confirmed that a Stadium I know in Swansea, Wales, is presently suffering the same fate."

Mr Sergeant said, "the replacement turf would come from the Stadium's contingency stock, which is included in the Stadium's annual operational budget. This is not an additional cost to taxpayers. The turf has been under regular inspection by the Stadium's ground staff and has been fully tested for infestations such as nematodes and other disease as well as for traction and strength prior to being delivery to the Stadium.

"The removal of existing turf will commence on Monday 6 August with the laying of the new turf complete on Wednesday 8 August. It will have nine days to be prepared for the Broncos v Bulldogs NRL game on Friday 17 August.

"The Brisbane Broncos and the Queensland Roar, which plays its first A League game against Adelaide United on Saturday 25 August, have both been advised of the decision and turf replacement schedule.

"Our preference was to wait until October when growing conditions would be more favourable but the overriding factor was providing a first class playing surface for both the Broncos and Roar and this was the only window available to carry out this work", Mr Sergeant said.

23 July 2007

Greg Adermann
Communications Manager