A truly Unique Stadium
15. March 2018 - 9:00
The multi-purpose stadium located in the city of La Plata, Argentina, also popularly known as the Estadio Único, was partially inaugurated in 2003. Soon afterwards the stadium underwent further work to convert it into an all-seater roofed stadium. At the time of its official inauguration in February 2011, the stadium was considered the most modern in Latin America.
The stadium’s 7,350 m2 pitch has another unique feature for Argentina, a pitch consisting of more than 6,600 plastic modules that can be entirely removed within 24 hours. The plastic modules are filled with a drainage layer and a growing medium of 95% 180/220 sand, 5% peat and 150 grams TerraCottem per sq m. to increase the poor water and nutrient holding capacity of this root zone layer. The growing medium is then covered with Tifton 419 – Tifway turf and overseeded with ryegrass.
As the stadium hosts many mass events it also has a reserve pitch. This pitch is built in the same way as the first but with a slightly different composition: 90 per cent 180/220 sand, 10 per cent peat and 120 grams of TerraCottem per sq m.
Alfredo Schappi, responsible for the stadium’s pitch commented: “This tray system needs 18 months without play in order to establish itself properly. Based on my 15 years of experience with TerraCottem, I increased the TerraCottem rate of the main pitch slightly to get faster and deeper root development and used peat as a binder. We managed to get the pitch ready in record time! The first match was played just 40 days after the modules were turfed and shortly afterwards the stadium hosted six matches of the Copa America 2011.”
With the industry’s ever growing demands on a pitch’s performance and endurance, as well as the stadium’s profitability, the La Plata Stadium pitch is currently undergoing works to receive a PlayMaster field in a modular system. This pitch will have the same substrate composition and grass species as in the 2011 reconstruction works. Once completed, the Ciudad de la Plata stadium will again be unique and have a last generation world-class multi-use pitch – staying true to its nickname ‘Unique Stadium’.
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