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. a temporary stage) to be 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 allows the curator to operate individual sprinklers to avoid temporary obstacles on the turf surface. All irrigation valve boxes were located off the natural turf competition area.
Liaising with the local suppliers and contractors SPORTENG were able to identify appropriate sources for the profile materials and the natural turf.
This elite natural turf Field of Play now hosts regular NRL home-and-away games, international rugby matches and a NRL State of Origin game.
Mayor Jenny Hill says, "Our city continues to attract amazing sporting events to Queensland Country Bank Stadium [...]. I can’t wait to see our city get behind the Reds in the men’s and women’s games and hopefully cheer them home to big wins."