On Thursday of this week, we will begin significant development works at the stadium with the installation of a new hybrid pitch at Fir Park.
We have selected industry-experts SIS Pitches, who will work in partnership with AllGrass, to rebuild the pitch literally from the ground up.
That will see the clearing of the current pitch, and the previous one that still exists beneath the current surface, the installation of an enhanced drainage system, a new irrigation system and new undersoil heating piping.
When the pitch construction is concluded and seed is in the ground, around five week’s worth of work, SIS will then complete the process of ‘stitching’ the new surface.
Hybrid football pitches consist of 95% natural grass which is reinforced with synthetic stitched fibres. That allows greater durability, enhanced drainage and longer playing time with the feel of real grass.
When complete, Motherwell will be the fourth Scottish Premiership club to have a hybrid pitch following Celtic, Hearts and Rangers’ installations in recent years.
“For the last decade or more, the club has spent considerable cash, each summer, patching up the pitch to try and get us through the following season,” Chief Executive Alan Burrows said.
“Owing almost exclusively to the skill and talent of Paul Matthew, our current Head Groundsman, and his deputies, we have seen a marked improvement over the last few years, albeit the root problems continue to persist under the surface and maintaining a reliable, stable pitch is becoming increasingly more challenging, particularly through the winter months.
“We are throwing away good money every year by not fully fixing this issue.
“So the Board have decided to do just that, which will not only provide an enhanced and reliable playing surface, but will also materially reduce the annual maintenance costs and allow us to further commercialise the pitch and the stadium, much like we have done in the past, but have been unable to in recent times because of the poor pitch construction.
“As a part of that rebuilding process, we also plan to reduce the slope of the pitch, which runs from the Cooper/Hunter Stand corner at its highest point, to the McLean/O’Donnell Stand corner at its lowest, by half of what it is now.
“That will improve the playability of the pitch for players, whilst significantly enhancing the sight lines in both the Cooper and McLean stands lower corners.”