Date: 13th March 2009 at 10:07am
Written by:

Rotherham United are currently sharing Don Valley with a rugby league team and a non-league football team. With an already busy summer schedule at the stadium, it has been announced that rock band, U2 will be appearing there on 20th August and Manager, Mark Robins wants assurances that the pitch will be looked after.

The concert will take place during the growing season but stadium officials have said that the pitch will recover quickly. With four postponements at the ground this season Robins told The Advertiser, ‘We have to make sure the pitch is as good as it can be for the rest of the season and then, when the summer comes, there is more work done on it.’

In the wake of the postponements, officials from both the club and Don Valley have met and discussed the pitch. Of the last game called off, stadium manager, Pat Smith said, ‘There was heavy rain throughout the day in the build up to the game and when eventually it eased there was no time for the pitch to recover. Ironically, by 9pm that night, it would have been in a satisfactory state to play on it.’

I think one of the Millers’ fans biggest doubts about moving to Don Valley was how the pitch would hold up in bad weather. Being a purpose built athletics stadium, I don’t think there will be much drainage in or around the pitch and the heavy rain we had would be difficult to brush off. I do wonder though if the snow that was on the pitch when a couple of games were cancelled couldn’t have been brushed off a bit earlier than was tried or even covers put on the pitch to prevent ice? Not that I’m an expert in football pitches!