English League One football club Ipswich Town has submitted plans for further upgrades to Portman Road, with proposals including new undersoil heating and fully automated turnstiles.
The proposals comprise the second phase of works which began on the stadium last summer, when major modifications were made to the southeast corner of Portman Road. A new giant screen was also fitted in the stadium bowl, while new dugouts were fitted in front of the Magnus Group West Stand.
The works to be considered under the club’s new application include a new playing surface with undersoil heating. The new surface is a sand-based hybrid, with Ipswich stating that the pitch will be equivalent to some of the best in Europe.
Ipswich will also acquire requisite plant and equipment for the provision of pitch irrigation and surface water attenuation. The club said the new hybrid pitch and irrigation system will represent a “major step forward”. Boundary treatment around the pitch will also be carried out, with a new synthetic pitch perimeter run-off to be installed.
Ipswich will use the area in the southeast corner of Portman Road to provide the plant and services required to support the new pitch, meaning that turnstiles directly to the rear of the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand will be relocated.
As a result, existing turnstiles to the east and west of the stand will be demolished. Boundary treatment will then be carried out with the intention of new turnstile access and egress from the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand via the newly acquired land to the immediate south of the stadium. The new turnstiles will be fully automated – the first of their kind at Portman Road.
Ipswich chief executive Mark Ashton said: “We are delighted to have submitted these plans. The new pitch reconstruction will provide an elite-level playing surface, therefore giving our playing squads the best chance of success.
“The extensive life span of the new pitch will also aid the club’s typical annual close-season pitch refurbishment schedule, to ensure a quality playing surface year on year.
“Relocating the existing turnstiles that are currently split between Portman Road and Constantine Road will provide a more streamlined entry to Portman Road stadium, further enhancing the matchday experience for our supporters. We hope the supporters are excited about the plans, and we look forward to work commencing.”