Work to transform the Bathurst Sportsground into a premier sports venue is nearing completion, with the first rolls of turf being laid out.
The $1.5 million project has been financed by Bathurst Regional Council, with the help of two grants - the T20 World Cup 2020 Cricket Legacy Fund and the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
While the venue is unlikely to be of use until early 2023, Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor said the upgraded venue will provide a massive boost for the city.
"This will be another great asset for council," he said.
"It gives us major cricketing events here. If we can get the lights upgraded too, we might be able to look at some night games or T20 games.
"The development of this ground is phenomenal. Coming here and seeing how well it's been done, it'll be another fantastic facility for council."
While the Sportsground is not expected to be ready until early next year, labourers have spent the past few days laying the turf, which will need a number of months before the roots set into the ground.
Once the turf is set, contractors than can proceed to install the sand slit drainage, which will be the final step before the ground is ready for use.
Cr Taylor said the venue will be a multi-sport facility.
"You'll be able to play league here as well," he said.
"It was mainly funded for cricket but it's multi-purpose. Athletics can come back here and we can use it for league."
The Sportsground is a historic venue, having been in use for over a century, previously hosting an array of sports.
Cricket has a long history, but one stage the original three rugby league teams - Charlestons, Railway and St Pat's - all played at the ground.
The Sportsground even hosted a number of speedway meetings before the Second World War.
All up, a total of 15,400 square metres of agridark couch will be laid, with the turf being sourced from the Hawkesbury in north-west Sydney.
A new drainage network and irrigation system has also been installed, alongside the construction of a footpath around the perimeter of the field, the existing fence has been reinstated inside the footpath and rugby league goal posts have been erected.
The last major cricket match the venue hosted was the Bathurst Orange Inter District Cricket grand final between St Pat's Old Boys and Orange City in March 2021.
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