Oxford United Football Club - Kassam Stadium Pitch Construction

June 2023

For the upcoming 2023/24 football season, Fineturf were contacted to provide a solution for the main pitch at the home of Oxford United, The Kassam Stadium. We were asked to give a recommendation that would last the club two seasons.

Our Fineturf Irrigation team supplied, installed and commissioned a new state of the art Hunter irrigation system. A 30,000 ltr water tank, 16 G885 TTS outfield body and risers with rubber cover, and 8 I80's infield sprinklers with turf cups were installed. An ACC2 Wi-Fi controller with a solar sync weather station, a wireless handheld controller, a Twin Lowara pump set with Hrdrovar, and a 2-meter x 2-meter GRP pump house were also added. All this will significantly improve the irrigation system at the Kassam Stadium, providing more reliability and coverage for the ground staff at Oxford United.

We removed the existing carpet system, ensuring that all contaminated rootzone was excavated, leaving clean upper rootzone. We achieved this using our Volvo 140 excavators loading into our 9-ton wide wheeled dumper. We then lightly cultivated the existing rootzone to remove any light compaction, surveyed the pitch, set levels and laser graded.

We then supplied, delivered and laser graded out the shortfall of the 80/20 rootzone, bringing the levels back to within 35 mm of the finished pitch level. We supplied, delivered and applied Headland MultiGreen 28.3.15, Headland Greentech 6.5.18 and ICL Pearl fertilisers, all at 35g m2. We lightly cultivated these products into the top 25-30mm with a Blec Rota-Rake.

Our solution was to supply, deliver and lay our sister companies Tillers Turf Hybrid Turf System, HTPro. At Tillers Turf, we harvested the hybrid carpet system HTPro over three nights in 1.2m wide and 10m long rolls, totalling almost 700 rolls. The deliveries to the stadium were every 90 minutes, carrying loads of 32 rolls per delivery.

The rolls were offloaded and laid by our own Fineturf equipment, and operators worked long days to ensure the turf was fresh and in excellent condition. The turf was snugged using our in-house fabrication and assembled snugger designed by the Team at Fineturf headquarters. The joints were all checked, watered, blown and treble rolled.

We handed the pitch over to Mark Walker, the Grounds manager at Oxford, with a six-month grow in program produced by our technical and operations director Wayne Billing. The pitch's first test came during a pre-season friendly on the 21st of July vs Swansea City, just 21 days after completion. The pitch looked and performed fabulously, with Oxford United winning 1-0. Another successful HT Pro hybrid turf installation by the Fineturf and Tillers Turf teams.

Oxford Testimonial

It’s probably best that I start off by saying a massive thank you to everyone involved, from me and the team at Oxford United, the whole experience was very enjoyable from start to finish and even when the installation was completed, both Wayne and Martin have been on the end of the phone for us whether it be replying to all my pictures of the pitch progressing or both Wayne and Martin checking in on us to see how things are.

To be able to work so closely with Wayne, especially after the installation, has definitely taken the pressure off me and the team. Knowing that we have someone with his knowledge and experience on the end of the phone is incredible.

The irrigation system Martin has installed for us is unbelievable, there is no other words to describe it. He’s gone that extra mile in making sure that we are happy with what we are receiving, and he worked incredibly hard to do so.

Me and all the team couldn’t believe the condition of the product we received. The density was amazing, the plant health was incredible, and we just felt that once the installation was complete, we would be left in a really good place. We’ve had 2 games on it now, and the pitch has played very well. Everyone from the team manager to the board members seems very happy with what we have installed.

We’ve met some amazing and hardworking people from start to finish, and we feel we’ve made some friends on the way. It’s an experience I won’t forget in my career, and I’m sure it’s the same for all the ground staff team here are Oxford United.

Thank you again for all your hard work.

Kieron & all the ground staff.