Our 2021 summer pitch renovations are now under way at the Crown Oil Arena!
Contractors moved onto site on Friday to begin the work, which is expected to take three or four days, weather depending.
Head Groundsman Richard Blackburn, who, alongside his team, will aid the contractors with the renovations, has provided an update on the work that is taking place.
"It doesn’t matter if you buy a Bentley or a Ford, you’re expected to get your car serviced every year, and that’s the same with our pitch.
"I like to use that as an analogy to describe why we carry out renovations each year," said Richard.
"We take a lot of pride in our work and in the pitch, and it’s important to us that we take as good a care of the surface in the close season as we do throughout the season. A lot of money was spent last year, so it’s vital that the pitch is ‘serviced’ to help maintain the highest of standards."
He continued: "We’re taking the top off the pitch, which will result in roughly 60-80 tonnes being removed.
"Due to us having a hybrid surface here at the Crown Oil Arena, once that has been taken off, it will reveal the synthetic fibres underneath. Even though there will be no grass on the pitch, you will still be able to see a green haze because of the fibres.
"The synthetic fibres will be staying in place, but the contractors will assess them and seek out any that may be damaged or need attention. The main areas that you will usually find wear and tear on are the goal mouth areas, the assistant referee’s runs and where the teams warm up. Should these need restitched or replaced, this work will take place then."
He added: "After that, we’ll be putting 80 tonnes of sand back on. This is to ensure that we have fresh sand on top to help with infiltration rates and to ensure we are still able to get any surface water away quickly and into the drains.
"Verti-draining will follow, before we seed it and then add fertiliser. The next game on the pitch isn’t until June 27th, when Rochdale Hornets welcome North Wales Crusaders to the Crown Oil Arena. This gives us a window of around six weeks to get the pitch established before it’s used."
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