Yarrow Stadium in New Zealand is to be fitted with new LED floodlighting and a hybrid turf pitch as part of a NZ$50m (£25m/€30m/$36m) revamp of the venue, which was damaged by a 2016 earthquake.

Final plans were unveiled for the revamp of the New Plymouth venue back in November. The 25,000-seat stadium was a home of Super Rugby’s Chiefs until the Kaikōura earthquake caused significant damage and left two stands unsafe to use.

The remodelling will ensure Yarrow Stadium is safe and suits a broader range of regional and community sports while continuing to be the premier regional venue for top-level sport in the Taranaki region.

The main East Stand of Yarrow Stadium is being demolished and replaced, with the West Stand to be repaired. Taranaki Regional Council (TRC), which owns the venue, confirmed today (Thursday) that the project remains within budget.

The main pitch at Yarrow Stadium will be a ‘GrassMaster’ hybrid turf, which offers a lifespan of up to 15 years and up to 1000 playing hours a year. Auckland-based FieldTurf has been named contractor and will be supported by design consultancy New Zealand Turf Management Solutions.

The timing of the installation of the new pitch is still being finalised, but it is likely to be laid by early 2022.

The LED floodlights will be installed on the existing light towers and grandstand roofs by Arnold Jensen Electrical, a Christchurch-based contractor, and Signify (formerly Philips Lighting). The new lights are set to increase illuminance by 50% while reducing power consumption by 30%.

The existing lights will be removed from the lighting towers in August, with the new ones to be commissioned and operational by early 2022.

David MacLeod, chair of the TRC, said: “Installing hybrid turf and LED lighting required highly specialised skillsets, and we’ve chosen contractors with a solid record of success at major projects all over New Zealand. We’re sure to get an excellent outcome.”

MacLeod added: “The old lights were already well past their use-by date. And it’s fantastic that the new lights will be better but will need less power. That means we can continue using the existing main switchboard and lighting connection.”

Of the NZ$50m budget, NZ$20m will come from the New Zealand government as one of its COVID-19 response infrastructure investments.

Image: Pakaraki/CC BY-SA 3.0/Edited for size