Cork’s home Super 8s game moved as Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch replacement set to begin

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The Cork footballers’ final Super 8s game will not take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh as work on a replacement pitch will begin next Monday.

The Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch in February 2019.

The clash with Roscommon, to take place on the weekend of August 3/4, will be switched to Páirc Uí Rinn as a result.

SIS Pitches Ltd., who will undertake the works, indicated that an immediate start date is “critical to achieving maximum grass growth and ensuring the availability of the pitch for all of Cork’s home Allianz League games in 2020,” the Board of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Cork County Board said in a statement

Cork's home Super 8s game moved as Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch replacement set to begin
The Cork footballers in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in February 2018.

Any delay would compromise the possibility of a successful January 2020 opening, according to experts involved in the process.

The tender price has come in within the amount allowed in the €95.8m estimate of the final cost of the stadium announced earlier this year, the statement added. That cost is close to €10m more than projected upon the completion of works in 2017.

The complete replacement of the pitch, which has suffered problems since the stadium’s opening, will see a reinforced pitch installed, “bringing it in line with the most up-to-date pitch construction technology and performance available today”. It will also feature a synthetic surround around the pitch.

SIS Pitches are also providing a contract guarantee for the performance of the pitch.

Cork's home Super 8s game moved as Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch replacement set to begin
The Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch in May 2019 after remedial works took place.

“I am delighted that work is commencing this month as indicated earlier in the year, when the decision was announced that the pitch would be closed for replacement after the Munster finals,” said Cork County Board Chairperson Tracey Kennedy.

We cannot ask our teams and supporters to endure another season where our flagship stadium is unavailable to host the games it was built for, and it is absolutely critical now that we have a high-quality, winter-proof pitch available to host all of the inter-county and club fixtures that we wish to play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh each year.

“I am confident that SIS will provide that for us.

Cork's home Super 8s game moved as Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch replacement set to begin
Aidan Walsh in action at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in February 2019.

“I acknowledge and share the disappointment of many that our senior footballers cannot play their home All-Ireland Quarter-Final Phase 3 game against Roscommon in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and if there was any way in which the match could have been accommodated without risk to the future success of the new pitch, it would have been done.

“However, our focus has to be on safeguarding our pitch for all our teams far into the future. We look forward to welcoming our own and our visiting supporters to Páirc Uí Rinn for the game.”

In a statement, the key benefits outlined included:

  • The future-proofing of a pitch profile construction for many years to come through the use of new technology (gravel raft) and completely new materials that must pass rigorous specification criteria.
  • Providing a reinforced structure of pitch profile and surface to significantly increase the underfoot stability for all players, particularly at times where grass growth is curtailed due to temperature and light conditions.
  • To provide a pitch that can facilitate double-headers/multiple matches with little if any decline in performance.
  • To provide the ability to play more club matches particularly at the back end of the season when growing conditions are typically more challenging.
  • To provide a synthetic surround that reduces damage to the playing area through the turning of maintenance equipment.
  • To provide a synthetic surround that creates the opportunity to increase sponsorship opportunities with removable 3D logos etc for individual matches.
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