The eagerly awaited Day X has arrived and the spades are ready: As already announced, the entire turf at the Merkur Arena will be replaced immediately.
At the beginning of the spring season, MCG board member Barbara Muhr and the team of Stadion Graz-Liebenau GmbH invited to the 1st turf summit. At this meeting, after a thorough inspection of the playing surface, it was agreed to completely replace the turf in order to be able to continue to guarantee a high quality of play for all clubs.
The complete turf replacement
In the course of the replacement, which has been commissioned to the renowned Richter Rasen GmbH around managing director Philipp Götz-Richter, which is also one of the top addresses of the European football association UEFA, a total of 7,600m² of old turf will now be milled off and properly disposed of by the holding subsidiary Servus Abfall. The rest of the process involves loosening up the substructure in order to then lay an approx. 4 cm thick turf sod over the entire pitch. This work will take approximately 1 week to complete.
New Head of the New Turf Competence Team
In the future, engineer Stefan Weber will be responsible for the turf quality in the Merkur Arena as head of the new turf competence team. Due to his experience at the head of an 80-strong team of green space maintenance at Holding Graz, which among other things keeps around 30 district sports grounds in good shape, Ing. Weber brings with him relevant know-how for this area of work.
Focus on further quality assurance
In order to maintain the quality of the turf and the pitch at the Merkur Arena at the highest possible level after the turf replacement and to further professionalise the turf maintenance, a new, state-of-the-art turf tractor and three turf light lamps, which simulate sunlight and daylight in the cold season, were also purchased.
A lot is also happening at the Graz-Weinzödl sports centre, where part of the artificial turf will soon be replaced in order to provide the best conditions for the rest of the playing and training season.
Barbara Muhr, MCG board member: “The ground-breaking ceremony for the complete turf replacement in the Merkur Arena symbolises a new beginning. A new beginning that is now once again an important impulse and a great further development as well as support for top-class sport in Graz. Thanks to the expertise of our new head of the Turf Competence Team, Ing. Weber, and the quality assurance provided by the purchase of the new equipment, very good pitch conditions are thus guaranteed for the start of the 2021/22 Bundesliga in mid-July.”
Dr. Günter Riegler, City Councillor: “By replacing the turf and hiring a new greenkeeper, we reacted quickly to the unpleasant difficulties. Now we are well prepared to compete not only with the football clubs in Graz, but also with our stadium turf in the top league in Austria!”
In the photo: Barbar Muhr, Günter Riegler, Philipp Götz-Richter, Stefan Weber (from left)