English Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur has selected Sheffield-based engineering firm SCX to supply a retractable pitch that will be used at its new stadium, which is due to open next year.

SCX took on the detailed design of a scheme developed by BuroHappold Engineering and will supply a grass pitch that will sit directly above an artificial surface at the as-yet-untitled stadium. The ground will become the first of its kind in the UK to have such a feature.

The retractable grass surface will be used for Tottenham games, while the artificial pitch will allow the stadium to stage NFL American football matches. The artificial surface will also be used during other events in order to protect the grass surface.

A demonstration of how the ground-breaking technology is being deployed by SCX and Spurs is shown in this video:

The SCX-designed pitch will sit in three pitch-long steel trays, each weighing more than 3,000 tonnes. When the artificial surface is required, the grass pitch will sit underneath the South Stand. Tottenham said the pitch-switching process is expected to take around 25 minutes.

Spurs said there would be no evidence of the underlying surface when the grass pitch is being used for football matches. The new surface is set to be fitted over a 12-week period beginning in October.

Tottenham’s director of operations and finance, Matthew Collecott, said: “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 added: “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.”

SCX has also supplied surfaces for the Centre Court and Number One Court venues at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Tottenham’s state-of-the-art stadium is due to open in time for the 2018-19 season. The club is playing its home matches at Wembley Stadium in the meantime.

IMAGE: SCX/Tottenham Hotspur