Brighton FC Pitch Construction - Kestrel Contractors

Brighton FC Pitch Construction

Type of installation: New natural stadium pitch construction

Location: Brighton FC, Brighton

After 14 years of searching for a new home BHAFC finally achieved the dream in August 2011 when they kicked off the season in their newly built Amex stadium. Kestrel Contractors were appointed by Buckingham Group Contracting to construct a state of the art fibrelastic rootzone playing surface.


Aside from the finished surface Kestrel were also responsible for building the pitch from the formation up which included undersoil heating and irrigation. The football pitches were stripped off with a bulldozer, new sand was added to the existing topsoil before the pitches were re-levelled.


The pitch profile consisted of:

  •     Formation graded to design levels creating camber from pitch centre
  •     Deep soakaways constructed into chalk
  •     Drained installed into formation at 5 metre centres
  •     Geotextile and stone carpet
  •     Irrigation and undersoil heating pipes laid
  •     Lower and upper rootzone placement
  •     Fibrelastic amelioration
  •     Sprinkler heads fitted
  •     Heating and irrigation commissioned
  •     Fertilising and seeding
  •     Grow in to handover


What made the project particularly more challenging was that construction had to commence January 2011 ready for play July 2011. This meant that seeding by beginning of  April for a 3 month grow in.


It was a project Kestrels’ in-house team attacked with relish. It was fortunate in the first instance in that the winter was not too bad in relation to weather and once the crowned formation was created and the drainage installed, the rest of the works could proceed without too much of a delay.


Brighton FC also choose to install Domo Vario Slide 3G grass down the touchlines to improve the aesthetics in the high wear areas.


Being a typical new stadium light levels are significantly reduced so the club purchased portable lighting rigs to help the pitch through the dark winter months and Head Groundsman Steve Winterburn is more than delighted with the results.

 “We had faith that Kestrel in house personnel could deliver the quality we were seeking to achieve” said Steve. “They had carried out renovation works at our former ground the Withdean Stadium and our current training ground and always came up trumps in relation to quality”.

Steve Winterburn
Head Groundsman


Jon Rogers one of Kestrels in-field managers commented that it was really challenging to get the envelope design finish but with the array of laser guided plant and equipment that Kestrel owns, the task was made much easier.


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