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New artificial pitch put in at Preston’s sports arena

Posted on - 10th February, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Cottam, Preston News, UCLan
Mark Menzies MP cutting the ribbon to officially open the 3G pitch watched by student footballers, USA Duty Manager Neil Cottam, UCLan Business Services Manager Andy Coverdale and Joel Arber, Pro Vice-Chancellor of External Relations.
Mark Menzies MP cutting the ribbon to officially open the 3G pitch watched by student footballers, USA Duty Manager Neil Cottam, UCLan Business Services Manager Andy Coverdale and Joel Arber, Pro Vice-Chancellor of External Relations.

Sports groups and students are to play on a new artificial surface at the city’s sports arena.

Located off Tom Benson Way the UCLan Sports Arena now has a state-of-the-art 3G artificial pitch – available to use in all weathers.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies met students and saw the pitch for himself.

He said: “The new Evolution playing surface is incredible – an artificial pitch that can host sports including rugby, football and American football.

“The entire sports campus is state-of-the-art and a superb centre which I am delighted the local community is taking advantage of; more than 90 per cent of users are not students, which means residents are benefiting from world-class professional standard facilities.”

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The pitch has a FIFA two star rating and is World Rugby 22 accredited. It has artificial grass with a rubber crumb and shock pad.

More than £700,000 has been spent by the unversity on the new pitch as well as bringing in a new spectator area, dug outs, recessed goals and floodlights.

Action on the new 3G pitch
Action on the new 3G pitch

One of the players in the UCLan Students’ Union league Saul Moores said: “We play our matches at the Arena every Wednesday and everybody wants to be put on the new pitch. It is the pitch to play on because it’s great underfoot, the ball runs true and it’s like playing on a professional grass pitch but without the mud.”

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UCLan’s business services manager Andy Coverdale said: “This excellent new pitch allows football, both codes of rugby and American football to be played on the one surface for up to 60 hours a week. That’s nearly 10 times more games than we used to be able to accommodate on a grass pitch.

“This is all about giving our students the best experience possible. Over the years their matches have been affected by the weather but this new 3G surface ensures all games can be fulfilled and those players are able to compete on a world-class playing surface.”

What do you make of the new pitch? Have you played on it? Let us know in the comments below

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