The opening of the all-weather turf on Nairnville Park's upper field takes place at 10.30am followed by rugby and football demonstrations. A celebrity football match kicks off at 11.15am. Players include Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert, Wellington Lions coach Jamie Joseph and Football Fern Hannah Wall.
The $900,000 artificial surface has been developed in partnership with the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) and will be predominately used for rugby and football although it can be used for other sports, including school sports. It will provide a higher quality field for training and competition and an extra court area for the Nairnville Recreation Centre, and will be able to be used in all types of weather.
The turf is about three-quarters the size of a full-size field and is made of 65mm long fibres with rubber infill and an underlying safety rubber shock pad. The fibres of the turf are made from polyethylene providing a realistic looking surface with a similar feel to natural grass but without the grass burns.
Wellington City Council's Economic Development and Recreation Portfolio Leader, Councillor John Morrison, says the new turf is an excellent addition to Nairnville Park and Wellington's rugby and football teams. "It will put an end to years of poor drainage and muddy conditions. People were understandably frustrated at the impact last winter's weather had on outdoor sports but now we can use this pitch 365 days a year which provides certainty for sports codes.
"Local rugby and football clubs have been telling us the city needs more artificial pitches to meet the demands of the growing number of winter sports players. Artificial surfaces can withstand more play than even the most robust and well-drained grass pitch and we expect the Nairnville pitch will reduce the pressure on other sportsfields this winter."