FORMER MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY – ALSAGER SPORTS PITCHES

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to work with David Wilson Homes developing the former MMU Campus in Alsager.

The land at the MMU which is now owned by David Wilson Homes redeveloped the site to create a number of new build housing and the provision of new sports pitches and amenities at the council owned ‘Alsager Leisure Centre’

McArdle Sport Tec installed two new artificial sports pitches and a further five natural grass pitches.  The new FIH National Standard sand dressed hockey pitch plus a Full Size FIFA Quality Standard 3G Artificial Sports Pitch for football are now complete with associated fencing and flood lighting; all 7 pitches costing nearly £1.5 Million pounds.  David Wilson Homes have also constructed a new pavilion, changing rooms and car parking.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news for Alsager as it will see new playing pitches and a range of sports and leisure amenities provided for the residents of the town.  “The council is committed to providing quality leisure and sports facilities as part of our policy to help our residents to live long and healthy lives.  “With the council’s independent trust Everybody Sport and Recreation taking over management of the facilities, this is expected to meet the requirements set out by Sport England to ensure the town’s leisure and sports offer is protected and sustained.”

3G Sports Pitch
Artificial Sports Pitch Construction

“It was fantastic to be involved in such spectacular transformation, the grounds for the former Manchester Metropolitan University have been completely redeveloped creating an amazing community sports area for both hockey and football

Geoff White, Contracts Manager at McArdle Sport Tec.

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

The importance of 3G pitch maintenance

Find out how keeping your pitch maintained can save you money and protect your players from injury.

3G pitches are a great alternative to natural grass.  They will enable you to play all year round and stop you having to cancel matches.  3G pitch maintenance is also a lot less time-consuming and costly compared to maintaining a natural grass pitch.

Artificial pitches are a significant cost so the maintenance is essential to protect the pitch and make sure it lasts as long as possible.

Arguably the most important factor in 3G pitch maintenance, is to keep the turf upright. Doing this helps support the elements of natural play such as traction, ball movement, and it also prevents player injury. There are a number of things you can do to help achieve this, including:

Wearing the right footwear

Boots are a big factor when it comes to 3G pitch maintenance. Flat soled boots/shoes are typically a no-go. They increase the rate of infill compaction and flatten the pile of the carpet. 3G pitches are rigorously tested and manufactured to withstand extensive play and last as long as possible, if the correct footwear is used. We advise using only moulded or screw-in stud football boots.

Regular brushing

Relying on a twice-yearly 3G pitch maintenance service isn’t enough. Regular brushing will keep the synthetic fibres upright and protect the infill and stop it from compacting. We suggest brushing the pitch weekly. This can be done using a compact tractor with a triangle drag brush.

Infill top ups

Those small black rubber pieces spread throughout the pitch are there for many reasons, including supporting the fibres and keeping them upright. Overtime amounts of infill will end up leaving the pitch and will need replacing. If you keep an eye on the amounts of infill when you’re brushing the pitch and top it up when you see necessary.

Winter weather maintenance

Snow and ice are the only instances that could potentially stop you from using the pitch. Heavy snowfall can freeze the fibres and make them brittle, which would increase the chance of damage to the pitch and increase the risk of injuries for players. If there has been heavy snowfall you will need to wait for it to thaw out and allow the water to drain away. As with many things however, prevention is better than a cure – laying vacuum dried salts on the turf before snow or ice is predicted can help prevent freezing from happening at all.

The cost of 3G pitch maintenance

A 3G pitch should cost an average of £5,530 a year to maintain. Compared with the yearly £48,000 needed for a quality natural grass pitch, 3G pitches come out on top, again!

Get in touch today if you need support with 3G pitch maintenance.

3G pitch maintenance

3G sports pitch testing – FIFA guidelines

Guidelines and testing for third generation sports pitches

Third generation (3G) pitches are artificial sports pitches designed to mimic the look, characteristics and performance of real grass. 3G pitches are filled with both sand and rubber to keep the synthetic grass dense and upright.

FIFA’s guidelines are in place to ensure that all 3G pitches are designed, manufactured and installed with player safety at the forefront. The all-weather pitches allow players to play football in its traditional manner, all year round. Pitches are durable and resilient with a lifespan of around 10 years.

3G pitch testing

At McArdle Sport-tec, we work closely with our clients to make sure we stay focused on their needs and comply with FIFA’s 3G pitch guidelines. We work in partnership with Tiger Turf UK who comply with FIFA’s rigorous testing methods.

Sports pitches can be expected to withstand 40+ hours of play a week. 3G pitches must pass tests on a whole range of factors, including shock absorption and rotation resistance to prevent player injuries. There are 600 data points tested to determine the turf’s performance.

Take a look at the testing methods used.

3G pitch maintenance

3G pitches require a moderate level of care and maintenance in order to last the expected lifespan. There are a number of rules that should be put in place to safeguard the pitch’s quality, including what footwear should be used on the surface. Regular cleaning and attention should take place to ensure the synthetic grass is kept in good condition.

Having a well maintained 3G pitch will not only make it last longer and help prevent injuries. The pitches are designed to replicate every aspect of real grass, including ball/surface interaction. Making sure the synthetic fibres are kept in good condition will help make sure of this.

Sports pitches from McArdle

As specialists in sports pitch construction we ensure that all of our pitches are installed to comply with FIFA’s guidelines. We’ll carefully consider the best possible location on your site to minimise maintenance and prolong the lifespan of your pitch.

Find out more about our construction process.

all weather 3G sports pitch

Hockey Pitch Construction

Where to Begin

This guide has been designed to assist with answering initial questions we are often asked by clients when they first embark on their hockey pitch construction journey. 

-How much does artificial hockey pitch construction cost?
The cost of building a pitch can vary immensely. Do you require a simple resurfacing of an existing pitch with a new sand-dressed artificial turf, or brand new pitch to be constructed with drainage, sports fencing and a new floodlighting system?

Initially, the existing ground conditions will need to be assessed. If the soil is contaminated, this will need to be removed from site and replaced. The more material that needs to be removed and replaced with suitable base material, the more the overall project will cost. A basic sand-dressed pitch resurface with no lighting or fencing can start at around £150,000, and can be in excess of £1 million for a brand new International standard, water-based pitch with new fencing, team dug outs, LED floodlighting and state-of-the-art irrigation systems.

-What are the first steps in artificial hockey pitch construction?
One you have secured land for the build, you will need to speak with an artificial pitch contractor, or a consultant. They should be able to assist with planning considerations and applications, design options, ground surveys, product specifications and pricing. Should you require funding, England Hockey is a good place to start.

-What type of surface does my club need?
Most international tournaments are played on FIH Global standard water-based surfaces and league games are usually played on FIH National standard sand-dressed pitches. If your club doesn’t host international fixtures then a sand-dressed surface will more than likely be sufficient. Water-based and sand-dressed surfaces are becoming available in a range of colours. Types of hockey surface available.

Do I need to have a shock pad under the artificial turf surface?
Although the FIH doesn’t specifically state that a shock pad is required, the testing criteria make it necessary to pass either ‘Global’ or ‘National’ criteria.
The addition of a shock pad in hockey pitch construction will aid player comfort, as the impact on the knees and back is significantly reduced when a shock pad is present. The most commonly used types shock pad systems are; pre-formed roll out pads, and ‘in-situ’ shock pad. An in-situ pad is a combination of SBR rubber and PU Polyurethane binder which is mixed on-site and laid upon the tarmac pitch base.

-How long should an artificial hockey surface last?
Manufacturers will offer a guarantee for each product in their range, to give an example, TigerTurf UK Ltd’s most popular hockey surface Evo Pro is guaranteed for 12 years, or 30,000 playing hours (2017). Many of the UK manufacturers have similar product guarantee periods, either measured in playing hours, or years. It is vitally important that the surface is maintained to the manufacturers standards for the guarantee to remain valid, artificial turf pitches are not maintenance free.

-Can an artificial hockey pitch be used for other sports?
More and more artificial hockey pitches are becoming multi-sport facilities as hockey clubs and local councils look to maximise the number of hours that the surface can be used for, therefore increasing pitch hire revenue. Artificial turf surfaces can be used for multiple sports, many manufacturers have sand-dressed systems which can be used for 5-a-side football, hockey and tennis. Other sports suited to a sand-dressed surface include volleyball, lacrosse, touch rugby and athletics.

Hockey Pitch

How your team can embark on the artificial 3G rugby pitch construction journey

The 3G artificial pitch construction process-

With the recent statement from the RFU suggesting they are looking to fund the construction of artificial 3G rugby pitches as part of their “AGP Programme”, and having installed one of the pilot pitches ourselves, we are increasingly being asked how the 3G artificial pitch construction process begins, and how clubs can apply to be part of the scheme.

When considering an artificial pitch, all aspects of the installation must be carefully considered. Not only do we need to provide you with the best quality turf and completed pitch, we need to ensure this is delivered on-time, within the club’s budget and to the highest customer service standard. In order to ensure we are able to offer the premium pitches we are renowned for, we will need to meet the main stakeholders so we can determine exactly what is required. There is no standard specification, all sites offer alternative challenges and conditions, drainage plans, logistics, specifications and budgets all differ.

A feasibility study begins with a free site visit to assess the potential site. Planning conditions are carefully considered and project designs are tailored to ensure individual conditions are adhered to. An extensive range of pitch options and specifications are discussed and a range of design options are presented to the club.

How can artificial 3G rugby pitch construction benefit your club?-

Artificial 3G rugby pitch construction provides clubs the opportunity to boost participation in the game. The main advantages include providing the opportunity for more playing hours, more training hours and a consistent surface which can be utilised throughout the year. As part of the RFU’s Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy promise of delivering over £50m investment over four years, they have pledged to develop 100 artificial grass pitches across England. Once all AGPs are built it is anticipated that grassroots rugby will see 16,000 new regular participants taking up the sport as a result of greater access to quality playing facilities across the country.

How can your club get on the list for potential funding for an artificial 3G rugby pitch?-

As far as we know there is no official application process for the RFU’s AGP strategy, should your club be looking to get on the RFU’s potential list you would need to speak with the RFU facilities manager in your area. A list of contacts and their details can be found here.

Artificial Rugby Pitch

HAS YOUR SPORTS CLUB OR SOCIETY BEEN AFFECTED BY RECENT FLOODING?

With the recent flooding in the North of England causing devastation to family homes and businesses, Sports England have launched an Emergency Flood Relief Fund for local sport clubs and societies who have been affected by the extreme weather conditions.

The main aim of this particular fund is to safeguard community sports facilities by providing quick cleaning services to get business running as usual as soon as possible. In order to do this, Sports England are willing to invest up to £400,000.

Continue reading “Has Your Sports Club Or Society Been Affected By Flooding?”