Tottenham have revealed the latest tests on the UK’s first retractable football pitch at their new stadium have been a success.
The £850m state of the art stadium is set to host 62,000 fans each and every matchday for both football and the NFL, where the innovative system sees the American football pitch sit at the base of the stadium and the Spurs’ playing surface contained in three pitch-long steel trays.
The trays, which weigh more than 3,000 tonnes each, contain 33 smaller trays which retract under the south stand to allow the artificial surface below to take centre stage, with the interchanging process expected to take approximately 25 minutes – according to the club’s website.
Tests conducted over the weekend saw two of the trays, the west and centre pieces, successfully move out of the south stand and connect before retracting back into the storage area.
The innovative system was designed, built and installed by Sheffield engineering specialists SCX, who are expected to test the east section of the turf in the near future as the club gear up for the stadium’s opening in August.
Tottenham also noted tests on the hydraulic sides of the pitch were a success, a key component in the retractable process as the 480 tonne system ensures the touchlines are at the same level as the grass playing surface once the three trays have connected.
The intricate design is the first of its kind in the UK as no other stadium has two pitches inside the same bowl, and its official opening later this year will ensure Tottenham’s will no longer have to call Wembley home.