The last home match played at Estadio Municipal Butarque was on February 29th. Three months have coursed without football activities on the pepineros’ home pitch except one training session on March 11th before the lockdown was declared.
How this stop of the competition has affected Butarque’s pitch? Will it be on perfect conditions for LaLiga’s return during June and July? Eric Durán, the responsible of Royalverd facilities in Madrid, the company that oversees Butarque and I.D Butarque pitches, gives us the details of everything that involves the stadium grass.
“It is a pity that games couldn’t be played when the pitches are on their best shape”
“This situation hasn’t impacted too hard on the pitch care. These months are usually the ones the field is in its best shape because of there is no excessive heat or cold. It is a shame. It is a pity that games could not be played when the pitches are on their best shape.
“More than complicating us”, continues, “this situation has made us to change our ways of working. We usually only did one turn and now we are doing two, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. We must oversee that if a worker is using a machine it should be cleaned and properly disinfected before being used by others. We are doing the same but with turns”.
“We have performed more aggressive procedures since we haven’t been able to replace the grass and plant it again”
The competition will be back during June and July, months when football is not usually played. This changes the lawn care plans: “More than modifying or adding any treatment, what changes is that during summer we won’t be able to perform the regenerations as we usually do, removing the grass and planting it again. We have had to do more aggressive procedures to remove density and getting the pitches ready so they can support summer activities”, remarks.
Durán talked about what he thinks that may happen to the pitch when played on months when is not normally on use: “The pitch is usually replaced during summer, it is totally removed and a 10% of the plant is left to prevent illnesses. What may occur now is that there will be a higher risk of illnesses since the pitch will be exposed for the matches”.
“Since you have to water the pitch, then it will be softer and possibly harmed and it should be higher to prevent the damage”
“It will be more difficult for us since more games will be played during summer”.
“Finally, Eric provides details about how his daily work will be modified because of the several amount games to be played on a short period of time: “Our routines between matches will be different because during summer the grass takes more time to recover because of the high temperatures, the problem is that it will be more difficult to keep the pitch on perfect conditions because of the recurrence of the games played”.
“The recovery time during summer is longer than spring or autumn and it will be more difficult for us because of the matches recurrence”.