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Metricon stadium training field

Carrara, Queensland

Area: 20,000m2

Hanceys turf were contacted and asked to install a drainage system capable of handling heavy rainfall (as much as 100mm per hour due to the severity of summer storms) as well as irrigation pipework and upgrading of the existing irrigation system.

With the commonwealth games approaching in April of 2018, the main field at Metricon stadium would be completely out of action for The Gold Coast Suns as both a training facility and match day games. When Carrara stadium was redeveloped several years ago the main field was upgraded with new drainage and irrigation to handle the Queensland climate however the adjacent training field didn’t get the upgrade.

With the heavy load that would increase for all training, fitness work and match preparation now taking place on the one training field it was clear to the Suns that action was needed to bring the training field up to the same standard as the main field.

The current field was in a good condition at the beginning of works as expected of stadium facility at this level, with good grass coverage and only minor top dressing required in the goalmouth, and the major task for Hanceys turf and the project manager Mark Patterson was to hand the field back in a similar condition or better to which it was received. All of which is a challenge after a large amount of drainage works to be carried out in a short amount of time for works and recovery. This meant that only specialist turf equipment was to be used including low ground pressure possi tracks, tractors with high floatation turf tyres only and specific machines designed for back filling the trenches. Firstly, a surveyor was engaged to survey the existing field levels of which by sight appeared to be adequate but needed to be assessed further.
Once the falls already available were confirmed as acceptable to work with, the design chosen to use was a circular drainage system similar to those already in place at various other AFL facilities such as the MCG.

This system uses 100mm lateral agi pipes at 300mm
depth below finished levels, at 5 meter centres to pick up any rainfall and take it into 4 x 150mm main drains fallling diagonally from centre of field to an outer ring main drain which circled the field. We decided to tap this outer ring main into three seperate outlets near the main stadium which in turn dispose of water into the stormwater then out to surrounding the roadways.

With a tight schedule due to the team needing to use the facility for pre season training work began in August and was completed in a 4 week time period.

Drainage design

One of the main outlets being trenched in, 200mm PVC stormwater pipe used for outlets

A tractor and spreader bar – used to wheel track and compact the trenches before levelling with a spreader bar

Specific turf machinery was used to backfill trenches, firstly a 200mm layer of gravel to surround the agi pipe, then a 150mm layer of USGA spec sand to the surface.

Special care had to be taken to protect the playing surface at cross over points and joins. Also as you can see in the background, only one entry point was available onto the field, meaning that all spoil removed and all drainage materials had to be organised efficiently, this made all the more difficult as the Gold Coast Suns hosted 2 AFL games during the works. Both games had huge crowds, so the worksite and surrounding area had to be cordoned off and left in immaculate condition.

Once backfilled, the entire field was lightly scarified to remove any debris, this also encouraged turf recovery

Once the trenches had been compacted, the field received a light top dressing to ensure the perfect levels were achieved
Trench lines were then turfed with Wintergreen couch, matching the existing cultivar on the field. Turf was harvested in 1.2m by 600mm slabs which were then cut to 200mm in width so as to cover the trench perfectly. The turf was also washed before arriving on site, so that the drain lines were not contaminated with any soil and remained pure sand achieving maximum drainage capacity.

Within 4 weeks the turf had not only taken well but had blended into the existing field so week that training was able to resume. Minimal disruption had been achieved and a field was now capable of great drainage characteristics, it being playable despite severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

The stadium management team, groundstaff and even players and coaches of the Gold Coast Suns made comment about quickly and efficiently works took place, also how pleased they are with the field. Hanceys turf wish them every success in the future and look forward to working with them again during the commonwealth games works.