Sports Hub unveils new turf for National Stadium

The entire process, from nursery to an event-ready field at the stadium, will take 48 hours. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The entire process, from nursery to an event-ready field at the stadium, will take 48 hours. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Singapore football coach Bernd Stange (in white) and Irfan Fandi (right) on the National Stadium field. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Singapore football coach Bernd Stange (in white) and Irfan Fandi (right) on the National Stadium field. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The Singapore Sports Hub on Tuesday unveiled a new long-term turf solution which it believes will finally solve the woes of its National Stadium field.

To be used for next month's SEA Games, the Eclipse Stabilised Turf (EST), commonly known as a "lay and play" surface, combines natural and artificial grass in a roll of turf.

It involves cutting up the natural field at an off-site nursery - run by homegrown company TEHC International - and then transporting the grass in rolls to the stadium. Officials said the entire process, from nursery to an event-ready field at the stadium, will take 48 hours.

"Over the last few months, we have been working very closely with a qualified turf supplier that can cater to the unique climate, architectural and multi-activity needs of the National Stadium," said Sports Hub chief executive Philippe Collin-Delavaud.

"We will continue to closely monitor and test the quality of the pitch before, during and after each event to ensure it is performing to our expectations of delivering a world-class facility."

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Melbourne-based HG Sports Turf will provide the system as part of a three-year deal with the Sports Hub. It has also worked on turf projects for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the recent Cricket World Cup in Australia.

After the Games' opening ceremony on June 5, the EST will be laid on top of the National Stadium's much-maligned Desso GrassMaster surface, whose patches and sandy conditions came under fire from the likes of Brazil football coach Dunga and the New Zealand Rugby Union.