Rip-up spurred by cricket host hopes


The Queenstown Events Centre oval will be dug up this summer – for a good cause.

Following the Fat Freddy’s Drop concert on February 5, the ground’s soil base will be ripped replaced with sand to improve its drainage.

The new turf will not only increase use of the oval for sports events, concerts and so on, but also hopefully restore the ground as an international cricket venue.

In June, councillors voted to bring forward the project by a year and committed $600,000 in this year’s annual plan.

“This is first and foremost about investing in our community,” mayor Vanessa van Uden said at the time.

“We see the advantage of attracting the occasional inter-national game as a bonus.”

Council parks & reserves planning manager Stephen Quin says the new turf “will provide a more durable and resilient field so you get more use out of it”.

He expects the job, including re-grassing, to be complete by next spring.

The oval’s hosted nine one-day cricket internationals.

However it’s not been allocated any games since January 2014, after New Zealand Cricket ruled that the playing surface and drainage no longer met its standards.