Johnson's J Premier Pitch sports seed has been successfully used to prepare the pitch for 2017's UEFA Champions League Final, played at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in June. Previously known as the Millennium Stadium, the venue opened in June 1999 and has welcomed an average of 1.3 million visitors per year through the gates.
Preparations to make the pitch match-fit were undertaken by Head Groundsman Lee Evans, partnering with Johnsons Sports Seed.
“With an irregular schedule of fixtures, and the shadiest stadium in the UK, our maintenance revolves around repairs and mini renovations throughout the year” explains Lee. “Between October and February, the sun doesn’t rise high enough to get onto the pitch at all so for 5 months of the year we’re in complete shade. Even though we have lighting rigs, we only have enough to cover half the pitch at one time, so when it comes to overseeding it’s vital that what seed we use can tolerate shade.”
With the obvious challenges this poses for growing grass, Lee sticks with mixtures he knows when it comes to overseeding, and this is Johnsons J Premier Pitch.
“The reason we use J Premier Pitch is two-fold; I’ve used it for a number of years, including my time at Aston Villa, and you get to know products and how they perform, but importantly you need to find mixtures that work in the environment you’re faced with. The Johnsons J Premier Pitch mixture delivers fast establishment, it’s hard wearing, shade tolerant and stripes well with good, strong colour – vital when most our events are broadcast on television.”