For the next three weeks, no meetings on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. MI Stadio men will be able to work. Without results, the only alternative was the change of the entire hybrid turf after Inter-Juve on 19 March: the break helps, but 10 days and 500,000 euros are needed…
The San Siro grass is “stressed” and the Milanese, who manage the facility (owned by the Municipality) through MI Stadio, are analyzing possible solutions. The most extreme is a re-turf, during the break for the national teams, or after Inter-Juventus on 19 March. It would cost 500,000 euros because for about ten years the surface of the Meazza has been hybrid, i.e. composed of 10-15% of plastic threads sewn into the natural grass lawn. The job takes 10 days to complete and of course an investment of 250,000 euros from Inter and Milan. Reason enough to hope that the next few weeks will bring an improvement and therefore… significant economic savings.
TOUR OF FORCE
From 4 January to tomorrow, 26 February, 14 official matches will have been played at the Meazza, including the derby at the Nerazzurri: 9 in the league, 3 in the Coppa Italia and 2 in the Champions League; Inter played 8 and Milan 6. The most stressful week for the pitch was between Milan-Roma on 8 January and Inter-Verona on the 14th because there were also the round of 16 of the Coppa Italia, Inter-Parma (on the 10th) and Milan-Turin (on the 11th), both ended in extra time. After that, however, there were three more “midweeks”, one in the Coppa Italia (31 January, Inter-Atalanta) and two in the Champions League (Milan-Tottenham on 14 February; Inter-Porto on Wednesday). With such a tour de force, combined with the winter temperatures, it is impossible to avoid that in some areas, especially in midfield, there has been a 50% decrease in grass density. However, the parameters of UEFA are respected. From the grandstand, visually, the deterioration is evident, but on the field, thanks to the synthetic threads implanted with a special machine, holes are not created (dangerous because they often lead to injuries). Slips are not frequent and stability is guaranteed. The argonomist in charge of the Meazza, Giovanni Castelli, and the men of MI Stadio have tried to “plug” the situation with the heating of the underground coils, photosynthesizing lamps, trolleys that light up at 600 kilowatts, biological activators and fertilizers, but when the grass is so stressed, it is difficult for it not to weaken.
After Milan-Atalanta on Sunday and until the break there will be no more midweek matches and so the pitch will have more time to be cared for, to… breathe. And, those involved in its care hope, to increase the density thanks to a new planting. However, a decision on the possible re-turfing will have to be taken not on March 19, but first because there are technical times to be respected: for example those linked to the turf which is now treated in greenhouses and which, despite having a greater density of tufts , have a yellow or at least less bright green color because they are not heated like those of San Siro. The latest re-turf was done last summer, after the concert season, and will only be done at the end of March if the two clubs don’t see progress in the next few days. April and May will be equally intense, above all in the hope that the Milanese will make as much progress as possible in the Champions League (Inter also have the semi-final of the Coppa Italia with Juventus at the end of April): a variable to take into consideration.
February 25 – 00:54
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