Worcester Warriors to switch to artificial pitch for 2016-17 season
Worcester Warriors plan to become the third Premiership team to play on an artificial pitch
The all-weather surface will be laid in time for the 2016-17 season
“Our pitch is our most under-utilised asset,” said Warriors chief executive Jim O’Toole
WorcesterWarriors will become the first Aviva Premiership Rugby Club to convert to the latest generation of Artificial Grass Pitch ahead of the 2016/17 season.
The new pitch will meet all World Rugby synthetic pitch guidelines and will be the first in the UK to feature an organic infill rather than the more widely used rubber crumb made from desiccated car tyres.
While fellow top-flight sides Saracens and Newcastle Falcons have made the switch to artificial surfaces in recent seasons, Warriors will make the move to play on the state-of-the-art, all-weather surface from Italian specialists, Limonta Sport.
Our pitch is our most under-utilised asset,” said Warriors chief executive Jim O’Toole. “It is currently being used for fewer than 100 hours per season.
“The structure of our existing playing surface means that we have to allocate eight to 10 weeks per summer to refurbish it, thus removing the possibility of summertime playing usage or commercial activity.
“This exciting development not only allows us to play more rugby at all levels on our biggest physical asset, but also allows us to establish new commercial revenue streams such as concerts, festivals and other non-rugby events.
“It is a significant investment on behalf of the ownership and is another step in our journey to make the business profitable in the long term.”
Limonta Sport, who meet World Rugby guidelines, have installed more than 650 full-size sport fields over the past six years for professional football and rugby clubs all over the world.