Millennium Stadium covers up for summer

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The first-ever field covering at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, UK, has been installed on top of the playing turf, ahead of the city-center venue’s eight Rugby World Cup 2015 games.

The Terraplas system, made up of 8,678 tiles and measuring 113,000ft2, will provide a protective cover for the hybrid pitch and enhance the stadium’s flexibility as a multi-event venue.

The Terratrak Plus is a high-density polyethylene surface that functions as a temporary driveable roadway for heavy-duty vehicles and cranes. While still protecting the synthetic and natural grass below, the translucent natural material allows the passage of light for photosynthesis to continue when the grass is covered for up to four days. When the covering is left for a longer period, new grass will be sown to restore optimum field conditions.

The transformation from rugby venue into Europe’s largest indoor arena was made in just over 24 working hours. The new system replaces the old palletized field that previously took up to a week to remove.

Stadium manager Mark Williams has hailed the arrival of the new system. “This is a brand new era for Millennium Stadium events as we welcome the very-latest in stadium flooring solutions to revolutionize the transition between what we term ‘field’ and ‘non-field’ activity at the venue,’ Williams said.

“The new system opens up the opportunity to deliver non-field events at any time of the year while also preserving the conditions of the field below, and ensures that the Millennium Stadium can continue to attract a diverse range of events to Wales.

“For the stadium groundstaff, the operational and logistical benefits are tremendous as we no longer need to remove and install over 7,000 turf pallets during a summer season.

The installation is the final phase of a US$4.8m (£3.1m) project that was launched at the start of the season to reveal a hybrid pitch, which intertwines millions of artificial fibers with grass turf, and state-of-the-art ‘plug and play’ facilities for media.

The investment was part-funded by the Welsh government in readiness for Rugby World Cup 2015, which includes two of Wales’ pool games and two quarter finals in Cardiff.

May 22, 2015

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