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Wembley pitch relaid for the 11th time

Mon 19th Apr 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Wembley Stadium is to have a new pitch laid for the 11th time in its short history following the issues with the playing surface experienced during the FA Cup semi-finals earlier this month.

Work on laying the new pitch began at the weekend, with the next fixture at the stadium the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Portsmouth on 15th May.

‘Wembley Stadium can confirm that a new pitch will be installed, with work commencing today,’ a statement said.

‘We will continue working with The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) to install and maintain the new turf.

‘The pitch will be the same type as was used in the latter part of last year. We will continue to refine the installation and maintenance regime to build on the formula that was successful during that period.

‘Wembley and STRI feel confident that we will be able to deliver and sustain a good pitch at Wembley for our busy football schedule in May.’

Geoff Webb, chief executive of the Institute of Groundsmanship, described cultivating the Wembley surface like ‘growing grass in a shoebox’ but said the problems can be overcome with the right attention.

‘Wembley Stadium is imposing but there are many others around the world like the Nou Camp that have equally similar structures.

‘It's not in the interest of anyone to see the national stadium's surface under continued scrutiny and speculation. Wembley is an iconic football venue which deserves the optimum playing surface.

‘It can be fixed, it needs the right people to look at the ongoing issue and a plan of action to solve that.’

In addition to showpiece football matches and rugby union club games, Wembley also stages rugby league's Challenge Cup final, NFL games and music concerts and has even hosted motorsport events in the past.

The debts incurred in the construction of the stadium mean that events need to be staged at Wembley on a regular basis to ensure a steady stream of income.


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