Specialist appointed for retractable pitch at Tottenham FC
Sheffield-based specialist SCX has been appointed to deliver a three-part retractable grass pitch for Tottenham Hotspur’s new £800m 61,000-seat stadium.
The specialist has been brought in to deliver a fully-retractable grass surface that will be used for football matches, while the artificial pitch underneath will be used for NFL matches, music concerts and a range of other events.
The interchangeability of the pitches is designed to protect the integrity of both playing surfaces.
SCX will design, engineer, build and install the real turf football pitch, which will sit in three pitch-long steel trays, weighing more than 3,000 tonnes each.
When removed, the surface will split into three sections, before retracting under the new stadium’s 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 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 from October.
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.
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.”
Contractor Mace is delivering the new stadium, which will also feature a sky walk on its roof to allow the public views across north London.