Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium to sport the world’s first dividing retractable pitch
From Katie McIntyre’s SVB newsletter:
The SCX Group’s expertise is being harnessed to produce a grass pitch that sits directly above an artificial surface, making the English Premier League (EPL) club’s stadium the first of its kind in the UK to have two pitches inside the same bowl, creating a truly world-class multi-use venue.
The fully retractable grass surface will be used for soccer matches, whilst the artificial pitch underneath will be used for National Football League (NFL) matches, music concerts and a range of other events, in order to protect the integrity of both playing surfaces. SCX will design, engineer, build and install the innovative natural turf football pitch, which will sit in three pitch-long steel trays, weighing more than 3,000 tons each.
The surface will split into three sections to show each tray before retracting under the South Stand to reveal the artificial playing surface underneath. The process of switching from one surface to another is expected to take approximately 25 minutes. Once the grass pitch is returned, the joins are invisible and undetectable allowing for an EPL-quality playing surface every match day.
SCX Special Projects – the bespoke precision engineering arm of the family-run SCX Group based in Wincobank, Sheffield – is preparing to install the movable grass pitch over a 12-week period beginning in October.
Tottenham Hotspur’s stunning new stadium is set to open in 2018. Designed for atmosphere, the Club aims to deliver an unrivalled fan experience inside its stadium, the largest of any football club in London with a capacity of more than 61,000. The venue will be a new world-class sports and entertainment venue for the capital. Since planning for the new stadium began, the Club has been committed to driving innovation and using modern technology to enhance the visitor experience.
The supplier agreement with Tottenham Hotspur follows SCX’s success in using similar engineering technology to win contracts for the retractable roofs over Centre Court and Number One Court at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) at Wimbledon, guaranteeing play no matter the weather conditions.
Matthew Collecott, Director of Operations & Finance, Tottenham Hotspur, said:
We are pleased to confirm SCX as our official Retractable Pitch Supplier. SCX has a proven track record in delivering innovative solutions and this bespoke pitch mechanism will allow our new stadium to host a range of major events in addition to Tottenham Hotspur matches, as we strive to create a venue that is a hive of activity all year round.
SCX Managing Director, Simon Eastwood, said:
We have a solid reputation for problem solving in bespoke circumstances that involve moving and lifting huge structures at sporting venues. All of the mechanical and control system engineering skills are in-house and genuinely world class.
Danny Pickard, SCX’s lead engineer, said:
Our expertise and heritage enables us to push the boundaries of moving structures and precision engineering. This latest pitch technology embodies everything we strive for and care about – delivering precisely what the client needs, with the engineering flair that has become a hallmark of SCX. We are so very proud to deliver this engineering world first.
By developing Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, Main Contractor Mace are helping to create a major sports and entertainment landmark for visitors, the wider community, London and the UK.
Designed by world-renowned architectural practice Populous with a capacity of 61,559, the tight atmospheric bowl will ensure spectators are closer to the pitch than at any other comparable ground in the UK with uninterrupted views for everyone at any event. The stadium has been designed for atmosphere including the incorporation of the UK’s largest single tier stand, the home southern end, which will be able to hold up to 17,000 fans.
The venue won’t just cater for soccer either, as Tottenham Hotspur has agreed a long-term partnership with the NFL that will see a minimum of two American football games played at the stadium each season for 10 years. This has been made possible thanks to a retractable grass field for THFC home fixtures with an artificial surface underneath that will be multi-use and capable of hosting NFL matches, concerts and other high-profile events. Dedicated facilities for the NFL – including locker rooms and medical facilities – are also provided so the club’s facilities are never compromised by the need to cater for other users.
The seating bowl has also been designed to provide excellent sightlines for the different formats of football and the NFL, without having to screen off rows of seats at the front of the lower tier.
The structure of the stadium will have a sculpted appearance, wrapping and folding its way around the stadium before reaching the home end, where a glass façade arches upwards to reveal the impressive single tier home stand.
Watch the video published by THFC detailing this world first online at: