The MCG Chooses PILA
The grandstand’s seats were still warm on Sunday 29 March when the MCG arenas team started the colossal task of converting from cricket to footy in time for the season opener between Carlton and Richmond on Thursday 2 April. The ICC Cricket World Cup offered a pleasant distraction over the summer, but it also delayed the start of the premiership season and Australia was itching for it to get underway.
Australia’s sporting shrine is in high demand this year, hosting World Cup Cricket, State of Origin Rugby League and International Soccer Friendlies, as well as AFL. Transitioning between each will pose challenges for the MCG, and this particular transformation was more complicated than any before it. With more than 40 separate pieces of work to complete inside and out of the stadium, work commenced less than an hour after Australia thrashed New Zealand in the World Cup final. Boards were laid down to protect the recently resurfaced turf while machinery drove out to take the portable cricket pitches to their winter home in Yarra Park. Signage had to be swapped, changerooms refitted and of course, goal posts installed.
None of this happened by chance – it took months of planning, strategising and preparing to accomplish this feat. For our own small part PILA was commissioned mid-2014 to manufacture a set of 15m aluminium Stadium AFL Goal Posts with bases customised to be easily installed in the MCG’s existing footings. Managing Director, Reece Wooldridge, spent considerable time with MCG Head Groundsman, Tony Gordon, ensuring the goal posts would be perfect.
As demonstrated in the MCG’s videos (below), PILA’s goal posts were manually installed by just a few men. No need for heavy or expensive equipment, and done quickly enough to fit into their tight timeframe. It’s the goal posts that make the MCG iconically AFL, and the MCG has chosen the safest and highest quality goal posts, made here in Australia by PILA sport.
It took more than 200 full time and casual staff, but thanks to their hard work and with the weather on their side, the MCG was successfully transformed into the AFL Mecca for another stunning season of footy. Watching as photos and video streamed through of the installation was a glorious time for all of us at PILA – not just another feather in our cap, but THE feather in our cap.
The tireless MCG arenas team, taking it one goal post at a time: pic.twitter.com/4rM5ub6b0g
— Melbourne Cricket Gd (@MCG) March 31, 2015