The pitch, which is used by the Argentina national team, is due to be completed in January 2021.

Irish-owned global football pitch specialists, SIS Pitches, has commenced the full reconstruction of the stadium pitch at Club Atlético River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

More commonly known around the world as River Plate, the football club is the most successful team in Argentine domestic football, having won the league title 36 times. River Plate is also responsible for producing numerous world-class football players including Javier Mascherano, Gonzalo Higuain and Alfredo Di Steffano – the Real Madrid legend from the 1950s and 60s.  

The existing pitch at the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti will be replaced by a state-of-the-art SISGrass hybrid grass system and will be supported with undersoil SISAir aeration system which will create a stronger playing surface.

The Irish company, which was established in 2001 by Sligo businessman George Mullan, began the reconstruction of the football pitch in October and will continue until December, with the installation of SISGrass scheduled to happen in January.

“I believe it was our ability to deliver the whole pitch package with our innovative SISAir and SISGrass systems combined with our experience in pitch construction which was really important to our client”

It will be fully completed in time for the 2021 Argentina football season which is due to commence in March 2021.

With a capacity of over 70,000, the stadium hosted several games during the 1978 FIFA World Cup, including the final between Argentina and the Netherlands, when Argentina were crowed World Cup winners.

New technology

Trusted by some of the biggest names in professional football, including Chelsea and FC Barcelona, SISGrass will provide an elite playing surface that is over 95 per cent natural grass, mixed with high performance polyethylene fibres, that help to provide more playing hours and faster pitch recovery.

As well as SISGrass, the pitch will contain SISAir which has been used successfully in many stadiums around the world including at Luzhniki stadium in Moscow for the World Cup final in 2018. This was the first time the World Cup final had ever been played on anything but all-natural grass.

SISAir includes heating and cooling systems, which will prevent seasonal deterioration of the playing surface and meet the demanding climate conditions in Argentina.

The Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires

SIS Pitches has worked with its registered distributor, Forbex, who are providing valuable local knowledge and enabling SIS Pitches to complete the project.

“We are delighted to have won this project against stiff competition, but I believe it was our ability to deliver the whole pitch package with our innovative SISAir and SISGrass systems combined with our experience in pitch construction which was really important to our client,” said George Mullan, CEO of SIS Pitches.

“All the works will be completed by our own staff. Personally, I am delighted to be going back to Argentina, a market I worked in many years ago,” he added.

SIS Pitches surfaces have been used at every major football tournament in 2018/19 including the Europa League Finals, UEFA Champions League, 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, 2018 World Cup, 2018 Club World Cup, AFC Asian Cup, European Rugby Champions Cup Final and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 16 November, 2020

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