Galin Stadium in Bordeaux had always been an important meeting place for the city. In 2016, it got a new look thanks to contributions from Euro 2016, the social and territorial cohesion pact developed by the city, and the solution, which was Ecofill® Rebound performance infill, which MONDO proposed for the soccer field.
In Bordeaux, the desire for urban renewal and the desire for a better future are governed by the city’s Social and Territorial Cohesion Pact with its inhabitants. The pact’s key points concern the active involvement of residents in the city’s politics; access to culture and schooling; attention to well-being, health and the environment; maintaining public order; combating discrimination; and helping those with disabilities.
Without a doubt, one of the factors in meeting this challenge was the renovation of Galin Stadium, which was built in the 1960s as a meeting place for the city but had fallen into a state of semi-abandonment. The opportunity to renovate the venue was accelerated thanks to the 2016 UEFA European Championship.
“The turf for the field was produced thanks to the funds allocated for the 2016 European Championship.… The contribution of a million euros was used to install an FFF niveau 5 type-approved artificial turf, which allowed greatly increased use [of the stadium]: Bad weather isn’t a problem and there is no stoppage between matches.”
With the 2016 UEFA European Championship approaching, it was easier than it might have otherwise been for Bordeaux to find the funds for renovating the stadium.
The city received a part of the contributions allocated by the French state, UEFA and the French Soccer Federation, and was able to direct no fewer than 1 million euros toward producing the stadium’s new field and installing an artificial turf surface for 11-a-side soccer and rugby, which can be FFF niveau 5 type-approved.
But there was still a serious challenge.
The French magazine SO FOOT covered a Dutch investigation into the alleged dangers of performance turf infills made from SBR synthetic rubber (derived from recycled tires) for artificial sports turf. (The investigation was based on questions raised earlier in North America, which attracted national attention in 2016.)
The French Health Ministry immediately commissioned a study by the French health and safety agency, ANSE. Results from that study were not made available until September 2018, but as a precautionary measure, and in anticipation of what the report would show, the city of Bordeaux chose to evaluate turf systems with alternative infills that are safer for athletes and the environment.
When the results of the study were revealed, they supported that decision. Even though the report found that the carcinogenic potential of recycled SBR granules is negligible, it highlighted the material’s danger to the environment and ANSE reserved the right to investigate the risk of respiratory diseases linked to the emission of VOCs by the granules when they are exposed to sudden temperature changes and UV rays.
“Discovering the different solutions offered by MONDO and receiving thorough descriptions of the products, our visit to the MondoTufting factory in Spain, the support [we received] during the various technical appointments and the production of a system tailored to satisfy our requirements [led us to choose MONDO’s solution].” Jeremy Raisseguier, Manager of the Taverny branch of ID Verde
The city of Bordeaux had the funding for renovating Galin Stadium, but it was looking for a solution that was safe for the environment and the athletes, and that reflected the founding principles of its Social and Territorial Cohesion Pact.
Among the companies competing for various aspects of the project was ID Verde, a partner of MONDO’s that specializes in producing and installing artificial sports turf.
MONDO and ID Verde held several meetings with city officials to demonstrate the advantages of the systems they were proposing.
After ID Verde’s initial contact with Bordeaux officials, the city dispatched technicians to visit to the MondoTufting factory in Borja, Spain, where they observed the production process for MONDO systems and visited the company’s artificial turf research and development lab.
There the Bordeaux representatives saw first-hand the performance of the MONDO system’s various components, from the surface made of 4NX monofilaments to the patented Ecofill® Rebound performance infill, which is made from polyolefin granules produced from virgin raw materials, and is GREENGUARD certified due to its low emissions.
Even after choosing the system, though, Bordeaux needed a trusted partner that could handle all of the issues associated with producing the field, starting with those linked to substrate preparation.
ID Verde proved capable of managing the work from A to Z, including meeting the deadlines for laying the surface and scheduling maintenance training for the facility’s managers.
Two months after the facility’s official opening, in a meeting of representatives of the Commune, the managers of Bastidienne and local residents, the stadium received glowing feedback. Athletes were happy with the venue after previously expressing doubts about the use of artificial turf, and Bordeaux residents were happy that the renovation created an opportunity to improve the community.
The stadium renovation continued into 2018 with the replacement of the stands, and finally the facility has been revived as a gathering place for Bordeaux residents.