The clock is ticking to get Warrnambool's hockey pitch upgraded by March next year or it faces losing the rights to host a national selection event.
The city council this week agreed to award a contract for the upgrade of the synthetic pitch with the council chipping in $400,000 and the hockey association having to coming up with the other $200,000.
Warrnambool is set to host the national selection trials for Hockey 5s on April 15 and 16 next year which would select players for the Australian team for the World Cup in Oman in 2024.
Hockey South West president Paul Dillon said being selected to host the trials in April was a vote of confidence from Hockey Australia.
Mayor Debbie Arnott said it was an exciting time for the club.
"They are hoping to have a new synthetic turf by March 24 because Hockey Australia have agreed for the Hockey 5s to have their national selection trials there," she said. "If it's not completed, they won't get the event.
"It is costing council $400,000 but there's an agreement that it will not go over that amount."
The tender for the works has been advertised and closed on Friday.
If tenderers are unable to install the new pitch prior to April 2023, then the association would not proceed with the Hockey 5 trials and the upgrades would start after the winter season.
Cr Vicki Jellie said it would be great to get the synthetic turf replaced. "They've got a lot of things happening up there with thoughts of future growth there," she said.
Cr Jellie said the council was chipping in $400,000 to the project and the hockey club "still has to confirm" it can provide $200,000 additional funds.
"Let's hope that they can do that," she said.
Cr Richard Ziegeler said the club's contribution would be a fairly substantial target to meet.
Mr Dillon said the project could take four to eight weeks to complete but the timeline was "cutting it a bit fine".
He said the timing was precariously close to when suppliers would be on holidays over Christmas, and flood repairs needed for hockey grounds up north could "throw a spanner in the works".
"Fingers crossed there aren't any issues with the supply chains," he said.
The installation of the hockey turf in 2006 was funded with $570,000 from philanthropic funds as well as another $80,000 from the hockey association and $40,000 from the former Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory.
Mr Dillon said they were working with philanthropic trusts to help fund the new upgrades.
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