THE new surface at Ballymena Showgrounds was officially unveiled on Friday night following a major investment in the venue.
Work began in May to transform the pitch in order to revamp drainage, lay a new playing surface and install a new sprinkler system.
And the pristine new playing surface was officially unveiled ahead of Ballymena United’s televised league match against Glenavon.
A special reception, hosted by council and Ballymena United, took place before the game.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “I am delighted the programme of extensive work on the pitch at Ballymena Showgrounds is now complete and everybody involved in this project is over the moon with the results.
“This work was carried out to the highest standard and involved significantly improving drainage and the quality of the playing surface to work towards meeting European standards.
“We thank all of our partners and Showgrounds users for their patience throughout the past couple of months. In particular, our thanks to Ballymena United for vacating the use of the arena during the start of the season.
“We now have one of the best playing surfaces in the country.
“Ballymena Showgrounds is a multi-use venue and our council continues to work closely with all users to ensure it remains one of Northern Ireland’s premier facilities.
“We look forward to enjoying some first-class sport at the Showgrounds in the weeks, months and years ahead.”
Ballymena United beat league leaders Glenavon 2-1.