Months of transformation for multi-purpose Metricon Stadium
Metricon Stadium's status as a multi-purpose venue has been confirmed over recent months with its transformation from being the main venue for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, its transformation back to an AFL venue for the Gold Coast Suns and now as a cricket arena.
Hours after the completion of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony on 15th April, trucks rolled into Metricon Stadium to start reforming it into an AFL venue.
Dismantling a temporary stand, lighting and other fit-outs for the Games' main arena took three days before the running track was removed and turf re-laying began.
A little over seven weeks later, on Saturday 2nd June the Suns and Geelong ran out on a pristine playing surface prepared at a location two hours north of Carrara by HG Sports Turf that looks every bit as good as it did before the Games.
The re-laying process took nine days in total with another two weeks for it to settle before the Suns began training prior to playing the Cats.
For the Suns, preparation for the project went back to last September when they handed over the keys to Metricon Stadium to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation.
In the meantime, the club switched its home base to nearby Bond University where the football department and administration staff set up home for eight weeks.
They returned to Carrara in late April and resumed on an adjacent training field while the finishing touches were being put on the main stadium.
After having played just eight home fixtures at Metricon Stadium, with the Suns’ home AFL season having ended as of 18th August, ground staff then set about the installation of drop-in pitches in preparation for four elite Twenty20 cricket fixtures this summer.
Head groundsman Kerry Betihavas told media “endless hours and sleepless nights” had gone into preparing the ground for cricket, advising “we started constructing these drop-in trays late December last year before the Comm Games started to ensure that the surface would be ready for this upcoming cricket summer.”
He added the drop-in method would provide maximum flexibility for the Carrara arena, explaining “this cricket pitch is in a metal tray which is a portable pitch so we can move it overnight and play footy tomorrow
“It’s very similar to the pitches in Melbourne at the MCG, Optus Stadium now in Perth and the Adelaide Oval.”
Australia will face South Africa in an international T20 at Metricon Stadium on 17th November before a trio of Big Bash League matches are played at the venue on 22nd December and the 1st and 5th January.
Images courtesy of Metricon Stadium/Facebook.
30th August 2018 - Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organising committee ends operations
18th April 2018 - Commonwealth Games hits Gold Coast tourism numbers
4th December 2017 - Metricon Stadium undergoes Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games transformation
20th March 2017 - Metricon Stadium to host historic AFL Women’s Grand Final
1st September 2016 - Significant surfacing wins for HG Sports Turf
15th March 2016 - Metricon Stadium introduces state-of-the-art Wi-Fi connectivity
30th April 2012 - Metricon Stadium named as a finalist in global stadium awards
2nd June 2010 - HG Sports Turf take on Desso Sports Systems
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