‘Green Tide’ in Zaragoza

It was part of the City’s initiative for the first quarter of 2011 to replace the natural grass municipal soccer fields with eco-efficient turf fields that will generate social, economic and environmental benefits:

  1.         a natural grass soccer field requires approximately 3,000 litres of water daily, three times more than necessary for a synthetic field
  2.         the need for monthly services including chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, reseeding and markings must be added
  3.         synthetic pitches have a higher field profitability, meaning increased number of practices and games – the annual utilization of a natural grass field is about 618 hours, while that of a synthetic turf system is about 2,880 hours, a difference of 366 percent 
  4.         more field rental hours
  5.         number of users who can enjoy the facilities increases
  6.         savings in operating and maintenance costs are substantial expenses

On January 10, 2011 the countdown was set in motion. The goal was to install 10 synthetic turf soccer fields within three months and a project completion date of March 30, 2011. 
“The goal was further complicated by the discovery that some fields were paved, while others were earth and some did not exist,” says Miguel Mendes, Chief of the Sports Facilities Unit for the City of Zaragoza.
This meant that this was not a simple substitution of material, but required the building of full-scale facilities: irrigation drains were placed, gutters, curbs, lighting, markers, benches, metal walls and partitions, access doors, equipment and stands.
The outcome was even better than expected. “No doubt, the deadline is a record. In fact, the period specified in Technical Specification for 11 football fields was 180 days and it was done in almost less than half the time, “said Mendes.