MCG cricket pitches back in town
Oct 01, 2013
Work has commenced on the transformation of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from football to cricket mode, with the installation of 10 portable pitches in the centre of the stadium.
After spending the past six months in Yarra Park while the MCG hosted more than 50 AFL matches, the pitches – each weighing approximately 34 tonnes – will be brought into the MCG by machine and installed over three nights on October 1, 2 and 3.
The pitches will then be managed and prepared by MCC head curator David Sandurski ahead of the MCG’s first scheduled cricket match on Wednesday October 30, when Victorian Bushrangers host Western Warriors in a four-day Sheffield Shield match.
The primary aim of the portable pitch technology is to provide better pitches for cricket, as well as minimising or eliminating the muddy centre square for football in winter.
Arenas Operations Manager Tony Gordon, who oversees the pitch installation process, said the “drop-in” technology also gives the arena greater flexibility to host events during the year, such as the Melbourne Victory v Liverpool FC match in July.
“The portable pitch technology has revolutionised turf management practices at multi-purpose venues,” said Mr Gordon.
“The process has been refined since it was first developed in the late 1990s. In the place of cranes, we now use a load-bearing roadway system to allow even the biggest loads to be carried across the ground without damaging the playing surface.”
A key benefit of the technology is that it allows for more mature grass and root systems to develop in the portable pitches.
It also allows the portable pitch to remain untouched by sand or other debris normally accumulated from the football season.
View a MCG portable pitch removal video