Sheffield firm to build retractable pitch for Spurs


Sheffield engineering specialist SCX is to build a retractable pitch for the ground-breaking new stadium being created for London Premiership club Spurs.

The company, on the city’s Wincobank, will 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 venue.

Spurs will lay its matches on the fully-retractable grass surface, 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 surfaces.

SCX will design, engineer, build and install the innovative real turf football pitch, which will sit in three pitch-long steel trays, each weighing more than 3,000 tonnes. 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 about 25 minutes.

Once the grass pitch is returned, the joins are invisible and undetectable, says SCX, allowing for a Premier League quality playing surface every matchday.

SCX Special Projects – the bespoke precision engineering arm of the family-run SCX Group – is preparing to install the movable grass pitch over a 12-week period from next month.

The supplier agreement with Spurs 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 at Spurs, 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.”

Spurs’ stunning new stadium is due to open next year.