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18 March 2022

Plus dugout renovation following conclusion of 2021/22 season

Mark Ashton says a new pitch will be installed at Portman Road, but not in time for next season.

The new pitch will be put in place in the summer of 2023 and should therefore be ready ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

One of the main benefits of the new pitch will be a higher drainage rate, due to larger sand particles being used, while undersoil heating will also be installed.

The new features will allow Town to compete with the top clubs in the country in terms of pitch quality.

“The pitch, and the quality of it, is really important,” Mark told iFollow Ipswich.

“It’s important to Kieran McKenna, the coaches, backroom staff and players, because it’s a key enhancer in terms of performances.

“The order for the pitch will be placed very soon, but I must highlight that it will not be put in place in time for the new season. Because of the additional infrastructure work that needs to be done at Portman Road, we simply do not have the time to get the pitch done this summer.

“There is work that needs to be done in advance of that, and some of it can’t be actioned until the final game of the season has been played.

“We’re applying for a breakthrough in the South-East corner, and we’ll plan to start installing the pitch in around 12 months’ time. It will be a modern pitch, which is really important as the Club has never had a pitch like that at Portman Road. The best type of pitch will be put in place, and it will serve the Club for many, many years.”

Mark also revealed plans for a new dugout area at Portman Road, with work set to start following the completion of the 2021/22 season.

“Other key infrastructure projects will take place this summer and one of those is the dugout area,” he added.

“The dugout area isn’t at the level that we need right now. The benches are too close together and they’re old and tired. We will put in modern dugouts, with the work starting at the end of the current campaign. The work will then be done ahead of next season.

“The seats behind the dugouts, as I know people will ask, will not be available for sale. Some seats will remain, but the majority will go and that will be communicated to season ticket holders sat in those seats. Most of those seats haven’t been used for the last 18 months or so due to the pandemic.”

To watch an exclusive interview with Mark regarding the scheduled projects at Portman Road, visit iFollow Ipswich.


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