According to Katie McIntyre’s Sports Venue Business, the Johan Cruijff ArenA and the KNVB, the Royal Dutch Football Association, are investigating whether the high-tech system that monitors the turf of the ArenA is suitable to serve as a basis for other clubs in Dutch professional football. The KNVB has already deployed the monitoring system on the training fields of the Dutch national team in Zeist. The monitoring system in the Johan Cruijff ArenA produces data by special sensors in the turf and measurements taken by the grass team, the system monitors the health and quality of the pitch 24/7. A “dashboard” shows the experts exactly when the turf needs feeding, light or water.
In collaboration with Wageningen University and Research, the KNVB wants to see if the monitoring system can help professional football clubs optimize their pitches. Better, up-to-date insight into the status of the grass can improve its quality, just like it has in the ArenA. The data can even be used to predict the state of the pitch in a week’s time. The system saves on costs and prevents waste of resources. It ensures that not too much water, fertilizer or light is used and requires few maintenance hours.
The research is funded partly by a subsidy from the Sportinnovator program, set up by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.