The world’s first integrated grow light system to maintain the grass playing surface will be among the many new technologies and innovations to be introduced at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, UK.
The retractable pitch is perhaps the most impressive feature of the new stadium but keeping it in perfect shape is a revolutionary new grow light system that, unlike wheeled-in units, encourage grass growth without affecting the surface.
Grow lights are used to provide optimum growing conditions for parts of the pitch where sunlight doesn’t directly reach. The systems are often large, bulky and heavy, which are not only difficult to maneuver but also can impact the grass.
The first-of-its-kind integrated system at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, developed by SGL, SCX and Hewitt Sportsturf, is a moving structure that is lifted hydraulically onto rails mounted permanently on the east and west pitch trays, and rolls from one end of the pitch to the other. Weighing approximately 120 tons, it features 864 individual lights that cover a total of 7,525m² (81,000ft²).
This enables full coverage of the pitch without equipment ever coming directly into contact with the grass surface. It also provides enough space between the pitch and the grow lighting system to enable groundstaff to continue to tend to the grass even when the system is in use.
An irrigation system is fitted on top of the structure so that the grass can be watered from above when the units are in use. In addition, the SGL Analysing system measures all pitch and growth conditions 24/7 and displays data to the groundstaff.
“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,” said Darren Baldwin, head of Playing Surfaces and Estates at Tottenham Hotspur.