Concerts create pitch pressures

Demand for close-season events is putting increasing strain on senior football pitches, Ipswich Town FC head groundsman Alan Ferguson told the Scotts seminar.

The Suffolk club hosted an extravagant show by US singer Pink in late June, involving 3,500 vehicle movements onand off-site, just three weeks before the first pre-season friendly.

"The pitch takes a hammering, but there's no point in doing it if you have to returf - it costs too much," said Ferguson, adding that wear was mitigated by laying permeable Supa Trac panels on the pitch.

Fresh seed was drilled immediately before the gig and afterwards compressed air was applied to relieve compaction. "You see the pitch rise up, but it did a fantastic job," said Ferguson.

"I've never had a pitch come back as quickly as that. But we are a victim of our own success - they want two gigs next summer."

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