Sheffield engineering specialist SCX has been selected as the Retractable Pitch Supplier for the ground-breaking new stadium of Tottenham Hotspur.
The company’s expertise is being harnessed to produce a grass pitch that sits directly above an artificial surface, making the Premier League 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 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.
SCX will design, engineer, build and install the innovative real turf football pitch, which will sit in three pitch-long steel trays, weighing more than 3,000 tonnes 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 a Premier League quality playing surface every matchday.
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 from 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 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.”