Hampden Park is to get a new pitch ahead of the Scottish League Cup final after concerns were raised once again over the state of the surface at the national stadium.
With the final between Hibernian and Ross County to be held on March 13th, the company which runs the stadium, has decided to rip up the existing pitch and replace it in time for the final.
Hampden Park managing director Peter Dallas said: “In light of recent speculation regarding the condition of the playing surface at Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park Ltd can confirm that a new natural grass pitch will be laid ahead of the Scottish League Cup Final.
“Like many surfaces across Scotland, Hampden Park has suffered due to prolonged inclement weather and, in particular, heavy rainfall since the turn of the year. This has been exacerbated by the programme of fixtures for Queen’s Park FC, who play their home matches at Hampden Park.
“While the best efforts of the ground staff have ensured Hampden’s playability, nonetheless, with a series of showpiece matches due to take place this spring – the League Cup final and Scotland Vauxhall international challenge match against Denmark next month, the Petrofac Training Cup and the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals in April and the Scottish Cup final in May – the Board of HPL Ltd has taken the proactive decision to provide the best possible conditions for these matches.”
Work on the new pitch will take place following the League Two game between Queen’s Park and Berwich on March 5, giving ground staff just eight days to have the pitch ready in time for the final.
The work will start immediately after the Ladbrokes League Two clash between Queen’s Park and Berwick on March 5.
We have been made aware that the Hampden pitch has no root reinforcement, no fibre and no stitching to help it against the weather conditions and with no lighting rig – unlike at Ibrox, Celtic Park and Murrayfield – it is no great surprise that the pitch has to be ripped up year in year out.
In 2009, the pitch was relaid following the irrigation system being upgraded following that season’s League Cup semi final between Celtic and Dundee United. In 2014, the pitch was removed to make way for the athletics arena for the Commonwealth Games and despite being relaid in November it failed to bed in properly and had to be ripped up again ahead of the 2015 League Cup Final.