Natural Turf | Rugby
Officially opening on 29th February 2020 to host a sold-out Elton John concert, the 25,000-capacity stadium located in northern Queensland will be the home of the North Queensland Cowboys and the multi-purpose nature of the stadium will enable it to host non-sports events.
The northern end of the stadium has no roofed structure enabling not only views of the city over Ross Creek but provides no obstruction for direct sunlight onto the natural turf Field of Play.
The design for the stadium Field of Play needed to be an elite profile to accommodate the intended multi-use capabilities. The profile had to be durable for the use by the anchor tenant, North Queensland Cowboys, and support the temporary overlay of non-sporting events such as concerts.
During the tender and construction phases for the project it was identified that the sourcing options for the appropriate materials (I.e. rootzone sand and drainage gravel) for the profile and turf were limited.
To improve the load bearing capacity of the Field of Play surface, a proprietary reinforcement system was included in the profile. The inclusion of the system prevents the turf surface from being chopped up during a rugby scrum and allows increased loads (I.e. temporary stage) applied to the surface without displacement of the growing medium.
The irrigation system consisted of valve-in head sprinklers which allowed individual control of each single sprinkler if required. This allowed the curator to operate whichever sprinkler he wanted when he wanted and could avoid temporary obstacles on the turf surface if required. All irrigation valve boxes were located off the natural turf competition area.
Liaising with the local suppliers and contractors we were able to identify appropriate sources for the profile materials and the natural turf.
The elite natural turf Field of Play is the jewel in the crown of the stadium. Not only has it hosted regular NRL home-and-away games, but it has hosted international rugby matches and a NRL State of Origin game.