Preparation of hybrid pitch for the greatest prize in football – final between Croatia and France

The Luzhniki stadium (inaugurated 1956), was renovated in 2013 for the 2018 World Cup Football, when at this time the artificial grass was removed and replaced with natural grass. Luzhniki is a hybrid pitch, made up 95% of natural grass and 5% of yarn (SIS-Grass). In 2015 it was seeded with Rye Grass and stitched with the hybrid yarns.

Regular aeration with the Verti-Drain (model 7215) equipped with Needle solid tines was instrumental to help create a strong and dense grass cover, helping the plant roots grow long, strong and sidewards and anchor the turf firmly into the soil.

A flat and even turf surface is ensured, as a player sliding will create far less damage to the turf. Thus, the risk of  injuries decreases, also because the make up of the playing field becomes more flexible.

And should an extreme cloudburst on Sunday result in so much excessive rainwater that it can not drain away quickly enough, then the Verti- Drain 7215 is at hand to punch holes in the pitch up to 25 cms deep, creating small vertical channels for the water to disperse quickly, while leaving the playing surface in a near-pristine condition.

Situation end of December 2017: root massis healthy, despite that growth has come to astop due to very cold winter conditions

Verti-Drain 7215 at work at Luzhniki, equipped with diameter 8 mm needle needle solid tines


A team of 12 people maintain the surface of Luzhniki stadium, with head groundsmen Maxim Rodomsky (left) and Alan Ferguson (right)

Before renovation in 2013 the stadium surface contained artificial turf, and with the Rink brush spreader (model 1010) the carpet was accurately (re-)filled with sand and granulate. Now, the Rink brush spreader is regularly being used to topdress the turf with sand, both the stadium surface and the 3 natural turf trainings pitches laying outside the stadium which are part of the Luzhniki stadium complex. On these pitches the Croatian and French teams will hold their last training sessions before the final.