Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Astroturf pitch in the Bangalore Football Stadium

April 2011
Located right at the heart of the city, Bangalore Football Stadium is perhaps the only football stadium in India which is owned by a state association.

August 2009
In September 2009, as a part of FIFA’s "Win in India with India" initiative, artificial turfs consultant, Dr. Eric Harrison visited the Bangalore Football Stadium on September 17. Dr. Harrison was also accompanied by Chrysantha Perera, FIFA's Assistant Development officer, also the CEO of Football Federation of Sri Lanka selected as one of the venue where the natural grasses would make way for the artificial turf.

July 2010
In the early days, the project was expected to start in January 2010 once the tendering process gets completed, the installation would typically take four months.

Bangalore Football Stadium hosted the 2010 II Division I-League (one group leg and the final stage) April thru May and the actual work on the artificial turf laying process started only on September 2010. 

September 2010 just when the soil removing work started out
Meanwhile, I Division I-League started on early December. The ground was just not ready and forced HAL to play their first 8 I-league encounters in the away venues. 

The (artificial) grass is bedded now
KSFA was expecting to complete the turf-laying project by January, however, could not stick to the plan and HAL suffered by played all their home matches at the sub-standard Sree Kanteerava Stadium, blowing away the home advantage.

In February 1, this year, FIFA representative Dr. Eric Harrison inspected the pitch of the Bangalore Football Stadium. This visit was a part of the inspection process deployed by FIFA. The inspection went on smoothly with the consultant expressing satisfaction on the work done till date.

The artificial turf was expected to reach Bangalore by February 17 and then another 3 weeks time to lay the turf on the ground. However, pre-monsoon that lashed Bangalore in the month of April further delayed the work.

With just a single home match to play in the I Division I-League, HAL has suffered the most in terms of playing in front of a decent “home ground”.

Football academy coming up under FIFA's Goal project
Finally, keeping off from all kind of speculations, the ground is all done and the inauguration of the artificial turf at the Bangalore Football Stadium is scheduled tomorrow, Wednesday May 18.