Stadium turf gets $605,556

Syd Brown
Syd Brown
The Dunedin City Council has been granted more than $600,000 to buy an artificial turf system for Forsyth Barr Stadium, the largest poker machine grant given to a local body.

New Zealand Community Trust chief executive Mike Knell confirmed the trust had granted $605,556 for the artificial turf system, following a request from the Dunedin City Council.

"It is a legacy for the whole community," he said.

The grant will cover most of the cost of the GrassMaster System, which has been used at London's Wembley Stadium.

It will allow the turf to be used three times as often as normal turf, as the natural grass is reinforced by synthetic grass fibres injected into the pitch.

Cr Syd Brown, who made the application to the trust on behalf of the city, said the stadium would be the first in New Zealand to use the system.

"For an indoor stadium, it gives you the maximum use of your turf. For example, you could play schoolboy rugby on the morning before a test match."

The council had applied to other trusts to cover the remainder of the cost of the system, understood to cost about $700,000.

Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said although he had not been formally advised by the council, he welcomed the news.

"It is a significant additional asset".

"The Dunedin City Council has undertaken to find the funds, and it will add to the benefit of the stadium and the city."

The turf system had been ordered on the condition funding could be found, he said.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies said the system would allow the stadium to become more inclusive, as the turf could be used more often.

The GrassMaster System is expected to be installed early next year.

 

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