Sports Hub switching to natural turf for National Stadium
The Singapore Sports Hub is moving to an all-natural grass solution for the National Stadium pitch.
Since opening in June, the quality of the National Stadium's hybrid turf has been constantly criticised for failing to match a standard befitting of its stature.
After recently denying media reports that it was looking to replace the current DessoGrassMaster surface with an artificial one, SportsHub Pte Ltd (SHPL) has decided to adopt a "lay-and-play" natural pitch solution and have it ready for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in June.
In a statement released to the media, SHPL chief executive officer Philippe Collin-Delavaud said: "SHPL has decided to grow a natural pitch in a nursery familiar with local conditions.
"This will provide the ideal grass growth conditions for the grass to mature. This mature natural turf will then be transported to and laid in the National Stadium in time for the SEA Games in June next year.
"The natural turf will also support the National Stadium's multi-purpose calendar of events both before and after the SEA Games."
Collin-Delavaud also said that a second pitch with a larger surface area will be maintained at the nursery to be deployed for sports requiring a larger surface area like cricket.
It will also serve as back-up turf for the primary pitch when it suffers excessive wear and tear.
SHPL has already chosen the Motz Group's Eclipse turf backing system that will ensure the transportation and deployment of the rolled up turf to have it in optimal condition for playing once the surface has been laid.
The consortium is still in the process of selecting the ideal grass type for the procedure as well as the contracters and nurseries that will be involved in laying the pitch.
Collin-Delavaud accepted full responsibility for the current state of the National Stadium field, which was no robust enough because of the amount of time needed for the DessoGrassMaster surface to anchor its roots.
He said: "The cost of implementing the new turf solution is fully borne by SHPL and will not be passed down to spectators and promoters.
"SHPL takes full responsibility for the successful delivery of a first-class natural pitch solution for the National Stadium."