The new-look Manuka Oval. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
The ACT government is confident the $9 million makeover of Manuka Oval will ensure an improved experience for the 12,500 spectators at the Prime Minister's XI day-night match against England on Tuesday.
Last year's corresponding fixture was the first after the installation of lights and was marred by 20-minute queues for food and drinks and toilets being closed before the end of play.
To solve those issues in anticipation of an extra 1000 people at the game through extra seating at the ground, the amount of pourage equipment has been increased by 40 per cent, and the catering areas and bars have grown in size by 20 per cent.
Waiting time in queues during peak times for food and drink is expected to be up to 15 minutes.
All toilets within the ground are now housed through the sewage system and won't have to rely on portables, which struggled to cope with the demand 12 months ago.
ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr said fans would be impressed by the work that has been undertaken to bring the ground up to world-class standard.
''It has come together really well given the tight time frame we've had between the completion of the cricket and AFL season,'' Barr said.
''There are some fantastic new additions to spectator amenities.
''The playing surface and the new pitches is where a lot of expense has occurred in the last few months to get it ready for season 2014.''
Final coats of paint were being applied on Friday with additional seating bringing the ground's capacity for AFL games up to 15,700.
That is reduced to 12,500 for cricket because of seats lost for the sightscreens at either end of the ground.
A block of seven new cricket wickets, a new fence and a state-of-the-art irrigation system are some of the features of the upgrade.
The improved facilities provide Canberra with the platform to launch a bid for more national and international fixtures, including Ryobi Cup, Big Bash League and Test cricket. Additional work will begin next week after the PM's XI game to put the finishing touches on the ground before it hosts the Greater Western Sydney Giants in four AFL games this year.
Barr said the work gave Manuka Oval a better chance of hosting more elite cricket and would help the transition between cricket and AFL.
''You've got to have a world-class surface, but the other important thing is the drainage and other associated improvements, which means the ground can recover from major rain events and different uses,'' Barr said.
''It's a more robust playing surface and gives the codes more confidence to turn the venue around between cricket and AFL.''
The PM's XI game is on track to be a sell-out, but a limited number of tickets will be steadily released through Ticketek over the next few days.
Patrons who have pre-purchased a ticket to the game will receive free public transport on ACTION buses.
■ England on Friday confirmed star paceman Stuart Broad would be rested from its first two one-day matches against Australia and the PM's XI clash at Manuka Oval on Tuesday.