MJ Abbott

Construction of SISGrass stitched hybrid turf stadium pitch

Nottingham Forest Football Club, The City Ground Stadium


The iconic City Ground stadium

You can feel the history at the iconic City Ground stadium, home to a club with 11 major honours to its name, including 2 European trophies. Under the leadership of their famous manager Brian Clough, the club’s history is something to be admired.

Following major investment by the owners at the training ground in 2022, the decision was made to update the 30 year old pitch with a new stitched hybrid construction.

The club employed Charles Henderson of PSD to advise on the project as Turfgrass Consultant.

Following the success of delivering the training ground pitches, the club employed MJ Abbott to carry out the re-construction. Work started in May 2023.

Project challenges

Ground conditions

The existing 30 year old pitch overlaid ancient landfill, so excavating into original ground threw up some interesting finds.

Excavating drainage and service trenches uncovered ash, soft ground, old pottery, bricks and concrete. All had to be dealt with efficiently to maintain the tight programme.

Our approach

An extensive pitch re-construction

The scope of work comprised the following:

  • Excavate to remove 450mm depth from the entire surface of the existing pitch, load onto lorries and remove from site to tip/recycling
  • Cut and fill earthworks to create new pitch levels and installation of primary drainage with pumped outlet
  • Installation of new irrigation and undersoil heating systems
  • Supply and install new gravel raft drainage layer, lower sand layer and upper rootzone surface complete with nutrient retentive amendments
  • Cultivation, fertiliser applications and seeding carried out in conjunction with Premier Pitches
  • Installation of SISGrass stitched hybrid pitch reinforcement system
  • Excavate to remove surrounds and reconstruct with stone layers and new 3G SIS turf carpet complete with rubber infill.


A successful re-construction that plays as expected

The pitch was successfully grown in by head groundsman Ewan Hunter, who continued to maintain a high standard during the first season’s use.

The pitch played as expected during its first season, reacting well to intense use at times, across all club competitions and training sessions.