Municipality of Rotterdam has chosen XtraGrass
Twice this year, the Municipality of Rotterdam has chosen XtraGrass, a patented system in which natural grass is reinforced with artificial turf. Bernard van den Bosch, Field Development Administrator for the Rotterdam sports fields, explains this decision. “We had two football associations that each lacked 800 hours of capacity every year, namely AGE/Zestienhoven and HOV-DJSCR football clubs.
This means you have a serious over-capacity of your fields. This can be disastrous for a club, from both a sports and social perspective. So something needed to be done and quickly. Expansion was not an option. Our only option was therefore to find alternative surfaces that would make it possible to use the fields more intensively.”
“I was introduced to the product several years ago. It’s a fantastic concept, the ideal mix between artifical grass and natural grass. Back then, we combined artificial grass with the natural grass on a number of fields, particularly in the goal areas. So we already had some experience with XtraGrass, and that experience was a positive one. Even after the natural grass was largely worn away from playing, the field was still very playable. That contributed to our decision to once again use XtraGrass.”
You need to choose a system that will be cost-effective in the long term. This means you need to weigh all the pros and cons of different systems. This includes examining the agricultural engineering construction. The ultimate deciding factor was that XtraGrass is suitable for very stony ground. It turns out that not all reinforced natural types of grass can handle this.”
It all sounds great on paper, but we wanted to hear from experience experts as well. So we travelled to Copenhagen. The first Copenhagen FC team had recently begun training on the reinforced turf of XtraGrass. It was good for us to hear that both players – and we’re talking about professional players here – and groundstaff were unanimously enthusiastic.”
And so you had the system installed?
“Exactly. The main field at HOV-DJSCR has been converted into an XtraGrass field, in order to increase the playing capacity load. At AGE/Zestienhoven, XtraGrass was installed on a training field, which means it can now also be used as a playing field. Both adults and young people will soon be playing on XtraGrass at both locations.”
Were you satisfied with the installation process?
“Absolutely. After we placed the order, a schedule was drawn up. Throughout the entire process, everyone fulfilled their commitments. This is important, considering the fact that you are given relatively little time to convert the fields.”
Will artificial grass be installed on other fields as well?
“That’s the plan. At HOV/DJSCR, we have had a different synthetic grass system installed in addition to XtraGrass. This allows us to compare performance and experiences. The system that meets its promises in the long term will become our preferred system.”