The capacity of a sports ground is the maximum level of traffic / usage that the site can sustain without resulting in a major decline in the turf and surface condition that renders the site unsafe or ‘unfit for purpose’.

Using validated data in relation to the number of competition games and training schedules, usage rates are determined on the basis of “person hours per week”. A factor is applied to junior activity to allow for the reduced wear impact.

Assessment criteria has been developed that reflects the number of hours the ground is used, the number of persons using the ground per week, the size of the field, type of activity, turf health / density and weather conditions.

Using this information, benchmarks have been set for acceptable usage rates and the capacity of the sports ground can be evaluated. The factors that directly impact on the capacity of the sports ground include:

Participation Rates Turf Quality & Condition
No registered teams Turf species and health
No of participants Surface quality and stability
Usage Rates Weather Conditions
Competition games Temperature
Training schedules Rainfall
Type of Usage / Sporting Code
High impact (football / rugby)
Low impact (cricket / athletics)


Information can be used to compare usage levels and capacity between sports grounds, to determine management strategies for a given venue or for future planning for sports and recreation facilities.