Location :

Brisbane, Queensland

Client :

Mitchelton Football Club

Year :

2018-2019

Sector :

Synthetic Turf | Soccer | Sporting Clubs

Mitchelton FC (MFC), founded in 1920, is the second oldest football club in Brisbane and boasts over 1100 members. MFC is located at Teralba Park, leased from Brisbane City Council and managed by the club. The site features five full-sized playing fields and a number of smaller training areas and mini-fields. All of the fields are a basic soil-based construction type (although some do feature an irrigation system) and are generally characterised by heavily worn turf cover, poor aesthetics and hard ground during prolonged dry spells. Following wet weather, the ground can turn boggy rendering the fields unplayable. 

The club sought funds from Local and State Government to develop a full-sized synthetic turf on the location of the No. 2 field. The intention was to build a field capable of tolerating a high-level of use that could be used in all-weather conditions and ensure that poor weather did not result in cancelled training sessions.

THE CHALLENGE

The site was not straightforward. The No. 2 field had been developed on a cut and fill platform, most likely formed when the No.2 and adjacent No. 1 field had been created. The site featured an overland flow path and the northern end of the site featured a waterway corridor. The site was also very flat with existing drainage utilizing swales on the site directing overland flow towards a shallow creek along the western side of the park.

 

Geotechnical assessment of the fill material indicated that the pavement depth would need to be substantial to ensure the base would not suffer from vertical movement over time. Furthermore, adding to project costs was the requirement for finished surface levels to match existing levels, requiring substantial spoil disposal.

THE SOLUTION

SPORTENG were commissioned by Mitchelton FC to carry out a full design process, prepare and lodge the Development Application and act as Superintendent during the works, managing client, contractor and stakeholder expectations throughout the entire process.


During the Design process, SPORTENG allowed for site constraints by:

  • Working closely with stormwater engineers to match design surface levels with existing, resulting on a net-zero impact
  • Minimising works in the waterway corridor and offering compensatory swales and overland flow paths
  • Minimising pavement depth by stabilising the subgrade
  • Using a drainage cell immediately under the turf to minimise the depth of any subsequent drainage infrastructure
  • Using concrete-encased pipes to permit shallow installation beneath the footpath
  • Forming a shallow, mowable swale through the park to direct drainage water from the turf to the nearby creek

 

SPORTENG prepared and lodged the development Application which was approved without conditions thanks to all potential regulatory concerns having been adequately addressed during the design process.

 

The Superintendent role meant we carefully managed budgets and timelines to ensure the project was delivered on-time and within the set budget (the sum of funds from Local and State Government).

THE RESULTS

Adrian Schrinner, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, officially opened the field on 13 July 2019 and in a bizarre incident the field received it’s first real test that day; during the opening ceremony an audience member fell ill and an ambulance was called, travelling over and parking on the surface. Thankfully the lady was OK and the pitch surface held up perfectly!

 

Since the field opened, the club has been able to satisfy all of the training demand across the age groups regardless of the weather. Furthermore, the Senior age groups have made the field their own; commenting that they are less sore following training and able to train harder for longer.

 

The club is investigating options to generate revenue from the field given the level of interest from other clubs, however, given the demand for use from within the club, finding time to accommodate everyone will be the challenge.

 

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