SIS, the specialist sports surface design and construction company, have once again demonstrated their ability to undertake comprehensive soccer pitch improvements within the ever-shortening close-season period, by renovating and re-seeding Ipswich Town's Portman Road Ground in only three days, thanks to their skilled staff and specialist techniques.
Like most club grounds, Portman Road needed renovation after the rigours of a heavy 2002/03 fixture programme. The situation was made worse by new high stands built at the stadium, which reduce light levels and can restrict air circulation. This in turn affects grass growth and lowers the turf's ability to recover between games.
Ipswich called in Spalding-based SIS, who recently replaced Manchester United's famous Old Trafford pitch, to improve the drainage profile at Portman Road as well as re-levelling and re-seeding the ground. Speed was of the essence in order to capitalise on the potential 8-week establishment period for a re-seeded pitch that the Suffolk climate allows.
SIS moved in speedily and removed the top 25mm of the existing pitch using their unique and exclusive Sisavator unit. This cuts turf neatly in strips without the debris associated with other machines, and at a faster rate. Another machine, the SIS Sisaerator, was then used to break up the soil down to 15cm to help create a good rootzone for healthy grass growth.
The surface was then carefully laser-levelled using special lightweight equipment to minimise the risk of compaction.
SIS completed the renovation by mixing carefully chosen sand into the rootzone, restoring surface levels and then aerating the soil before sowing.
By completing the Ipswich rejuvenation project in just three days, the pitch now has 8 weeks to establish in readiness for games planned in August, which Portman Road will host.
"Given the time pressures that the modern fixture programme creates for soccer clubs, end-of-season pitch rejuvenation work must be carried out quickly and with precision," says SIS Chief Executive Officer, George Mullan. "Our understanding of these factors, plus our staff's ability to use specialist machinery, means we can enable clubs like Ipswich Town to restore an excellent playing surface as soon as practically possible."
Contact at Pan Publicity: Fiona Gebbett 01493 440047
Contact at Support in Sport: george Mullan 01775 760253