This coming weekend, fans of Russian football will once again take their seats in the stands and in front of television screens, as the national championship resumes after a long pause with matches of the 19th round.

And in this regard, many people have a traditional spring question: how ready are the stadiums to host teams?

The first meetings will take place in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Grozny, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Kaliningrad.

According to the arena agronomists, everything is proceeding as normal.

So, according to the head of the directorate for holding sports and entertainment events in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Valery Mochalov, the lawn was renovated in December.

“We cut off the top layer and reseeded.

At this point the coating is almost ready.

On February 22, RPL inspectors arrived.

The entire range of agrotechnical work has been carried out, and there are absolutely no concerns that the grass will not be ready for the resumption of the season.

There were no particular difficulties.

All systems: watering, heating - work as expected,” noted RT’s interlocutor.

At the same time, according to the specialist, his team is lucky that Paris NN does not hold double matches, like Rostov, Dynamo or CSKA.

Two or more matches in a row in the spring is a real test for the field.

“It’s definitely hard.

We are always afraid that two matches in a row may be scheduled at the beginning of the spring segment of the championship.

In March, such a load on the lawn is completely undesirable.

Of course, due to special firmware, the lawn will withstand the tests, but there are still nuances.

We don’t envy our colleagues from VTB Arena, who will host two RPL matches on March 3 and 9, and then more sparring sessions with the participation of the Russian national team.

If the lawn holds up, then we can say: “Glory to the agronomists!” said Mochalov.

The Dynamo staff have perhaps the most difficult task, since after the national team’s matches with Serbia and Paraguay, the blue and white will hold two more home matches.

Thus, in total, six (!) games will take place at the VTB Arena in a little more than a month.

However, according to the general director of the stadium, Anton Gavrilov, thanks to timely preparation, the field should withstand such a serious load.

From December to February, here, too, as in Nizhny Novgorod, the lawn was renovated.

“It included cutting and removing the upper root zone, aerating the field, applying agrochemicals, adding several tons of sand, sowing lawn grass, and covering the field with a heat-insulating canvas.

Today, due to weather conditions, no protective coating is required, and our agronomic service carries out watering, lighting and cutting the grass as usual,” said RT Gavrilov.

However, according to the director of VEB-Arena Dmitry Kononov, not everything depends only on agronomists.

The weather has a significant impact on the quality of the grass, and there is nothing you can do about it.

“Now it is actively growing.

Of course, it has not yet gained full strength for a number of objective reasons - cold, lack of sunlight.

In any case, you can’t fool nature, but everything goes on as usual and in accordance with the standards.

By early matches, the field cover will not be 100 percent ideal in any case.

Of course, you want the lawn to look like it did in June, but, unfortunately, that doesn’t happen at the end of February.

However, the field is absolutely acceptable for this time of year,” the specialist noted.

According to Kononov, in the case of double matches, the only thing that can save them is the absence of strong temperature changes, which, unfortunately, are typical for March.

“The most important thing is that there are no big disadvantages.

And there’s nothing you can do to save us here when the field is frozen.

So far the weather forecast is more or less favorable.

The lawn is opened during the day to allow more ventilation and more sunlight.

And in the evening, the grass must be covered with a cloth to retain heat.

The worst thing is the cold and lack of sun,” RT’s interlocutor emphasized.

The preparations for the resumption of the RPL season in Kaliningrad are slightly different.

As the chief agronomist of the Rostec Arena, Alexandra Vorobey, noted, the stadium’s lawn is hybrid and therefore has its own characteristics.

“We started working with football surfaces at the end of last year.

The field is a living organism that needs to be maintained daily and even every minute.

Our agronomic service carried out the removal of the organic layer and scarification [the process of removing excess dried shoots].

Since we have a hybrid lawn, this requires additional manipulations.

Using agricultural equipment, we raised the field, applied mineral fertilizers, aerated the lawn and carried out additional seeding, which has already yielded results this year.

The lawn inside the stadium bowl does not grow on its own.

This is the result of the work of a large agronomic service and an impressive amount of agricultural equipment.

Every day we measure the main indicators that indicate the quality of the grass: temperature, humidity, treatment with an agrotechnical complex to protect against pests and diseases,” explained RT’s interlocutor.

The specialist also talked about what climatic conditions she has to deal with during her work.

“Many people have a stereotype that Kaliningrad is incredibly warm, and agronomists feel comfortable working here all year round.

In fact, we have our own specifics: high humidity and endless rain.

Often this only gets in the way of getting the job done.

Do not discount sudden temperature changes: this can be dangerous for a lawn, especially a young one.

To protect the coating in such conditions, we used several types of covering materials. 

It is very important to track temperature indicators: I go out every day with a moisture meter and thermometer.

We even have a local joke related to the variability of weather in the city: “If you don’t like the weather in Kaliningrad, then wait 15 minutes,” said Vorobey.

At the same time, in St. Petersburg, where the weather is no less changeable than in Kaliningrad, they do not worry about the quality of the lawn.

However, Zenit has a clear advantage in this regard - the roof.

“All conditions have been created at the Gazprom Arena to ensure that the field is in optimal condition all year round.

Now a standard set of works is being carried out at the stadium, taking into account the existing climatic conditions, so that everything is ready for the resumption of the season,” the Zenit press service told RT.

Fewer problems should arise in the south of the country: in Grozny, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar.

As the senior agronomist of Akhmat-Arena Murad Gadaev said in an interview with RT, the results of the work of specialists in the Chechen Republic were highly appreciated by the expert of the RPL commission on the admission of football fields, Dmitry Ustinov, who had already come to the city on a visit.

“Planned activities to care for the lawn and prepare it for the resumption of the championship continue daily as usual,” the specialist concluded.