New pitches are free for all

The new artificial turf facilities at Logan Park sparkle under lights earlier this month. PHOTO:...
The new artificial turf facilities at Logan Park sparkle under lights earlier this month. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Can you spot the difference? Need a hint?

The rather large puddle is missing in the picture of Logan Park taken earlier this month.

It has been replaced by two gleaming artificial pitches.

Two years ago the surface was flooded and Saturday sport had to be moved elsewhere.

That is highly unlikely to happen again anytime soon. It would take an epic flood to put the $3.98million facility out of commission.

And you do not have to be a high performance athlete to use it either.

"As with any other DCC [Dunedin City Council] facility in the city, if anyone wants to hire the artificial turf at Logan Park they can do this through the DCC sports grounds booking system," parks and recreation group manager Robert West said in an email.

A flooded Logan Park back in July, 2017. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A flooded Logan Park back in July, 2017. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

"The turf is available for anyone in the community to use. There is no charge to hire it."

Hockey is banned from being played on the surface because of the damage hockey sticks could do to the surface. But most other sports are fine, including cricket.

The facility began life as a legacy project after Dunedin hosted matches during the 2015 Fifa under-20 World Cup.

Fifa chipped in $420,000 and Football South set to work raising the remaining funds.

The DCC ($1million), Otago Community Trust ($760,000) and the Lotteries Significant Project Fund ($890,000) were the biggest contributors.

The end result is a won-derful facility which Football South chief executive Chris Wright described as "a dream to play on".

"From a football perspective the surface is top-notch. It is nice and level with no undulations. You can pass the ball and it skims really nice," he said.

It looks pretty dreamy too.

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