Tottenham’s retractable pitch being delivered

Key steps towards the installation of the world-first dividing retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur FC’s new stadium are now taking place at the Premier League club.

The ground-breaking design sees a grass pitch sitting directly above an artificial surface, making the stadium the first of its kind in the UK to have two pitches inside the same bowl in order to create a truly world-class multi-use venue.

The fully retractable grass surface will be used for football matches whilst the artificial pitch underneath will be used for NFL matches, music concerts and a range of other events, in order to protect the integrity of both playing surfaces.

Sheffield engineering specialist SCX, has designed, engineered, built, and is now installing the innovative real turf football pitch, stored in South Yorkshire before being transported to the capital.

The playing surface sits in three pitch-long steel trays, weighing more than 3,000 tonnes each. The pitch will split into three sections before retracting under the South Stand, revealing 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 a Premier League quality playing surface every match day.

Each of the three pitch-long trays is made up of 33 smaller trays, 99 in total for the entire playing surface.

The first batch is now being delivered from the completion of a journey which started in South Yorkshire to the new stadium site at night over the next fortnight. Each batch will make up one of the three pitch-long steel trays.

The Spurs contract follows SCX’s success in using similar engineering technology and flair to win contracts for the retractable roofs over Centre Court and No.1 Court at Wimbledon, guaranteeing play whatever the weather.

The first tray to be completed will be the west section, followed in the coming months by the east and finally the centre section.

SCX managing director Simon Eastwood said:

This is a massive and complicated moving structure. We have a proven track record in solving bespoke problems that involve moving and lifting huge structures at venues. All 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 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.

First published www.psam.uk.com