Pitch work begins as new playing surface is installed at the Kassam Stadium
Oxford United are pleased to announce that work commenced today on a brand new pitch at the Kassam Stadium.
The new pitch will be laid by Greenfields and be their Xtragrass product which will be installed and ready for the start of the season. Xtragrass utilises synthetic turf fibres to protect the grass root zone, keeping the surface even and stable. The synthetic turf fibres are woven into a partially biodegradable backing, through which plant roots grow and moisture and nutrients flow. This technology allows the best performance characteristics from both natural and synthetic turf and provides a higher quality, year round playing surface.
Chief Executive Mark Ashton said:
“The club and Firoka, the stadium company, have been working over the last two months to find the best possible solution to improve the playing surface moving forward. The current surface was laid when the stadium was complete in 2001 and is now beyond its natural life.
“The Xtragrass system is similar to the one being installed at Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena this summer and consists of a carpet based pitch which combines the best elements of synthetic and natural grass.
“We all recognised that the pitch was not of the required standard last season and despite substantial efforts from Oxford United and Firoka it was clear that the whole pitch needed to be replaced. We undertook substantial research to find the most appropriate and professional solution for the Kassam Stadium. The new pitch has a long term life cycle and will sustain football and rugby if required.
“In order to move forward on the playing side we felt it was vital to play on a surface that supported Michael Appleton and the players and gave them the best possible opportunity to improve results at home.
“On a personal note I’d like to thank Firoz Kassam and his management team for their help and support in dealing with the situation. As supporters will appreciate with three parties involved it sometimes takes a little time to reach agreement but I’m delighted that with the support of Firoka we are now able to concentrate on the work required to ensure work can begin and the pitch returns to former glories.”