After Barcelona's Spanish Supercopa contest Wednesday against Atlético Madrid, Barcelona "did not waste a minute in preparing to quickly begin changing the playing surface at the Camp Nou," according to SPORT. The "old grass will be replaced to install heating beneath the field." Barcelona will spend €530,000 ($700,000) on the upgrade. There will not, "however, be problems completing the project in time for Barcelona's next home game against Sevilla," which will take place the weekend of Sept. 14-15 (SPORT, 8/29). OLE reported "excellence has its costs and Barcelona is not concerned by what it spends." It is "all for the comfort of the players, so they can continue to dazzle the world by playing in the best possible conditions and on a field that can always shine green and smooth." Every year, "the playing surface is replaced." This time, "Barcelona will install a heating system under each layer below the field, with the function of melting the ice and snow that will accumulate during the winter." This way, "Messi and Co. will be able to be warm during the games" (OLE, 8/29).
Controversial upgrades to Hagley Park's cricket oval in central Christchurch, New Zealand "have been backed by city councillors" on Thursday, according to Kurt Bayer of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. The 11 votes to three majority decision gives Canterbury Cricket a ground lease for its proposed development, "which includes a raised embankment, new pavilion and retractable lighting towers." It is "a major boost in the city's bid" to bring the ground up to int'l standard and the ability to host three 2015 Cricket World Cup games. The Environment Court "granted the ground resource consent earlier this month, with strict conditions on its use, including capacity and the number of matches a year" (NZ HERALD, 8/29).