Football deal struck over artificial surfaces

A deal between the Dunedin City Council and Football South will result in more football action on artificial playing surfaces under construction at Logan Park. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A deal between the Dunedin City Council and Football South will result in more football action on artificial playing surfaces under construction at Logan Park. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The Dunedin City Council has struck a deal with Football South over block bookings for the artificial playing surfaces under construction at Logan Park.

But doubts remain over whether the area also needs to be fenced to protect it from vandalism.

The $3.9million facility is a joint project between the council and Football South.

Contractors are working to complete the two new all-weather, multipurpose playing fields by the end of March.

Council parks and recreation group manager Robert West said yesterday the project remained ''on target'' and within budget, and confirmed an agreement on priority usage rights had already been struck.

The deal with Football South meant blocks of time on the new surfaces would be reserved for football each week.

Outside those times, the new surfaces would be available for other sporting codes or groups, he said.

The agreement reflected Football South's efforts in raising the majority of the project's funding, the council's ''significant'' contribution and the need to retain Logan Park as a community facility, he said.

The council had contributed $1million towards the cost of the new fields and $550,000 in associated improvements, including pathways, lighting, landscaping and outdoor furniture.

It would also own the new playing surfaces.

Mr West said the council always tried to work first with larger organisations and codes, like Football South, to accommodate their needs before fitting smaller codes and groups into booking schedules.

''That's the only way it can work,'' he said.

Under the agreement, more football would be played on Logan Park, opening up other sports fields for other codes to use.

Football South chief executive Chris Wright was also ''very happy'' with the agreement.

His organisation was already talking to clubs about how bookings would be allocated, but usage would be rotated between junior, youth and senior teams ''so that everyone has an opportunity''.

Football South was still considering whether the entry fee it charged clubs for competitions would have to rise to cover the council fees and charges associated with use of the new facility.

Mr Wright remained concerned about vandalism or damage from foot traffic over the new fields.

He believed the new surfaces would be fenced ''in an ideal world'', but ''we respect that Logan Park as a greenscape is extremely attractive and we want to keep it that way''.

''Obviously, our big concern is we've put so much time and energy and effort into getting the facility, and we don't want to see it damaged.''

Mr West said there was no plan to fence the fields, but earthworks, plantings and outdoor furniture would be designed to protect it.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

Gotta be car proof at least...

If there is no fence then it is only a matter of time before some hoon drives across the fields. And what will the cost be to lift and relay the thing.
So once again we have a DCC project under specified and under costed.
Have they delivered a single project in the past 5 years on time and on or under budget?

 

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