Tottenham claims world-first with pitch grow system

Tottenham Hotspur’s much-anticipated new stadium will feature a first-of-its-kind lighting grow system to assist with treating the playing surface, the English Premier League football club has said.

Developed in partnership with SGL, SCX and Hewitt Sportsturf, the integrated pitch grow lighting system is now in operation at the venue after work commenced on installing the pitch last week.

The giant moving structure weighs approximately 120 tonnes and features 864 individual lights, covering a total of 7,525sq m.

Spurs said the system will help grass grow on the playing surface when there is limited direct sunlight getting to the area.

Operated from a dedicated storage room underneath the North Stand, the system can be lifted hydraulically onto rails mounted permanently on the east and west pitch trays. This then rolls from one end of the pitch to the other.

An irrigation system is also fitted on top of the structure so that the grass can be watered from above when the units are in use. In addition, enough room is left under the structure so that groundstaff can work on the surface while it is in use.

Spurs had been using a traditional roll-in system at its old White Hart Lane stadium.

Darren Baldwin, head of playing surfaces and estates at Tottenham, said: “We are proud that a collaborative approach between the club, SGL, SCX and Hewitt Sportsturf has resulted in an innovative design.

“The club is striving for excellence throughout the stadium and this technology could be a trendsetter for pitch care in stadia across the world.”

The club hopes to begin playing at the new stadium before Christmas, with the opening having been delayed on several occasions due to ongoing work at the site.

The stadium had initially been due to host Tottenham’s Premier League match against Liverpool on September 15. That match was played at Wembley, and the club’s league games against Cardiff City on October 6 and Manchester City on October 29 have also been moved to the national stadium.

Image: SGL