Clive Richardson Limited were awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the Aviva Stadium pitch in 2019. The decision to reconstruct the pitch was taken as part of an overall strategy implemented as part of UFEA’s planning for Euro 2020 which was to be held at multiple stadiums across Europe, including in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium. The stadium pitch had originally been constructed by CRL ten years earlier as part of the new stadium development.
The project involved the reconstruction of the existing pitch surface to a stitched hybrid profile. The works undertaken included the excavation and disposal of the top 180mm of material from the pitch surface. The existing synthetic pitch perimeter was also removed. The existing infrastructure relating to in-pitch irrigation and the under-pitch heating system remained and was protected throughout the works.
An 80mm layer of lower rootzone was then supplied and installed and the necessary ameliorants added. This was followed by a 100mm upper rootzone layer with the necessary ameliorants added. The surface was then laser graded and sown out. Following this the pitch area had SIS Hybrid Stitching installed.
At the same time the pitch surround was reconstructed and perimeter irrigation sprinklers relocated. A synthetic carpet system was then installed to all sides of the pitch when pitch stitching had been completed.
The work was carried out in a tight window between the last Ireland football match in early June 2019 and Irish Rugby’s friendly against France which was played on the pitch on 10 August 2019. In order to allow a six week establishment period for the grass, the reconstruction of the pitch area was completed by 2 July 2019.
CRL had to manage the operational delivery of the works taking into consideration a number of constraints which were put in place by local authorities. These related to controls around removal of and the delivery of materials to the stadium and the disposal of the excavated material which was deemed contaminated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland.