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New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium set to host first Super Rugby fixture since 2017

New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium set to host first Super Rugby fixture since 2017
May 11, 2023

After a multi-year rebuilding of New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium, the venue will again be hosting top level sport when the Gallagher Chiefs host the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby Pacific competition at the venue tomorrow night.

The Friday evening fixture at the home of Taranaki Rugby follows the rebuilding of the venue’s east and west stands as part of a $70 million upgrade program.

The investment followed the venue being shut down in 2018 after geotechnical testing on the ground beneath its west stand revealed it was a significant earthquake risk. The east stand had been closed in 2017 as a result of structural instability identified following an earthquake in November 2016.

With the repaired west stand reopened in September 2022, local winter season football and rugby union has been played at the venue since March.

Managed by the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) on behalf of the Taranaki Regional Council, the venue’s operators have a vision for it to be “the best regional stadium in New Zealand that regularly hosts local, regional, national, and international sports and entertainment events.”

Speaking in February, NPDC Group Manager - Community and Customer Services, Teresa Turner advised "it’s an exciting time being able to bring large events back to Yarrow Stadium and it will be great for Taranaki to be a part of the first of many major events in the venue.

"The venue can currently seat more than 12,000 people and it will be awesome to see the stands filled with local supporters and visitors looking to be a part of a vibrant sporting atmosphere.”

Lighting and Playing Surface
In addition to the structural work, lighting at the Stadium has been replaced with new LED floodlights installed on the existing light towers and grandstand roofs by Arnold Jensen Electrical (AJE), a long-established Christchurch-based contractor, and Signify (formerly Philips Lighting).

The main pitch was also replaced with GrassMaster hybrid turf - a blend of natural turf grown through and among artificial fibre that give the pitch a longer life with shorter recovery times that can triple the amount of weekly playing time compared with conventional turf.

Similar to systems already in use at Auckland’s Eden Park and ASB Stadium, Hamilton’s FMG Stadium, Wellington’s Sky Stadium, Christchurch’s Orangetheory Stadium and Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr stadium, GrassMaster hybrid turf offers a lifespan of up to 15 years and up to 1000 playing hours a year.

Auckland-based FieldTurf was responsible for the installation, supported by design consultancy New Zealand Turf Management Solutions (NZTMS).

Images show the Yarrow Stadium as its rebuild approached completion. Credit: Taranaki Stadium Trust.

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13th March 2023 - Super Rugby NZ Clubs link with Campaignware to enhance fan engagement and sponsor activation

1st December 2022 - New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia agree exclusive new Super Rugby Pacific deal until 2030

12th July 2022 - Budget for rebuild of New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium rises to $70 million

17th June 2022 - Rugby Australia looks to quit Super Rugby Pacific competition

28th July 2021 - Taranaki Regional Council announces team to rebuild New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium

11th June 2021 - New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium revamp to deliver new lighting and hybrid turf

10th December 2020 - Taranaki contractor to undertake repairs on Yarrow Stadium’s West Stand

3rd November 2020 - Main stand at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium to be replaced

24th July 2020 - New Zealand Government to make $20 million contribution to Yarrow Stadium redevelopment

18th May 2020 - Taranaki Rugby Union confirms financial restructuring

27th February 2020 - New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium redevelopment could be impacted by 12 risk factors

29th January 2020 - Partners sought for redevelopment of New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium

20th December 2019 - Taranaki Rugby relocates Mitre 10 Cup matches to Inglewood’s TET Stadium

5th October 2019 - Taranaki Regional Council establishes Yarrow Stadium project governance group

28th September 2019 - Petition delivered in effort to overturn Yarrow Stadium redevelopment plans

21st August 2019 - Taranaki Rugby slashes ticket prices at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium

21st June 2019 - Redevelopment of New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium moves forward

24th May 2019 - Taranaki Regional Council agrees to fund Yarrow Stadium renovations

26th February 2019 - $55 million repair plan recommended for Taranaki’s Yarrow Stadium

29th October 2018 - Taranaki’s Yarrow Stadium owner runs up $15 million loss in last financial year

8th June 2018 - New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium closed due to earthquake fears

2nd February 2018 - Philips Lighting illuminates PyeongChang Winter Olympics venues

29th November 2017 - Main stand at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium closed over earthquake concerns

13th July 2017 - Strategy suggests ageing Taranaki sports facilities are a ‘time bomb’

27th March 2015 - HG Sports Turf share details of Desso GrassMaster installation at CFA Melbourne

21st October 2014 - Desso GrassMaster increases its presence at big tournaments

14th November 2012 - XtraGrass hybrid turf system offers the best of both worlds

24th January 2012 - FieldTurf responds on rubber infill safety


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