Cork county board delegates have said the pitch replacement at Páirc Uí Chaoimh must be done properly so that the playing surface becomes a non-issue in the years ahead.
The Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium board decided on Monday night to carry out a full pitch replacement following the completion of the Munster championships at the end of June.
Douglas delegate Der O’Regan and Passage’s Matt Aherne welcomed the news but stressed the importance of getting the job done right this summer so as to avoid further difficulties down the line. Contracting the right people to relay the pitch is vital, the pair added.
“There is no point wasting time and wasting money if we don’t do the job right and make sure we have a good pitch by 2020.
“That has to be the number one priority in this project. We spent a lot of money on this stadium, but if we don’t have a good pitch to go with it, it is a waste of time,” said Douglas’ O’Regan.
“It will be done at the right time of the year and hopefully, work will start in July.
“There needs to be a good management structure behind this project to ensure it is done right.”
Matt Aherne believes there is no shame in having to replace the pitch over a year and a half after the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh first opened its doors.
“Some of the biggest stadiums on this side of the world, such as the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and Old Trafford, had their respective pitches replaced many times. With regard to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, there is no doubt the heavy machinery impacted on the soil and they thought laying a new pitch on top of that would work, but it didn’t.
“I am fully confident we won’t be talking about the pitch this time next year,” said Aherne.
Both delegates are in favour of the Cork county finals, which are typically held throughout October, being played at Páirc Uí Rinn so as to allow the new pitch bed in.
An industry expert has claimed the cost of a full pitch replacement, along with the provision of required maintenance technology, could range from €1.5m to €2m.
The cost of the pitch replacement at Páirc Uí Chaoimh is factored into the €95.8m estimate for the overall redevelopment project.