3 Aug 2009

Artificial turf eyed for winter sport venues

3:23 pm on 3 August 2009

Dunedin City Council says too many rugby and football matches are being cancelled because of the weather. Consideration is being given to installing artificial turf at some major sports grounds.

Wintry conditions have seen more than 370 matches called off this year. But two artificial hockey pitches installed at Logan Park have enabled games to go ahead in all conditions.

Sports field facilities officer Harold Driver says the council does not want to do away with grass fields altogether, but is keen to see whether having artificial pitches can make better use of the spaces.

He says an expansion of artificial pitches to include other sporting codes could see more young people enjoying sport on Saturday mornings.

Mr Driver says junior players tend to be the first to have their games cancelled and artificial turfs would improve the situation because they don't become boggy like grass fields.

A feasibility report is needed before the council decides to go ahead with the idea.