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White Hart Lane to have retractable pitch

White Hart Lane to have retractable pitch

The construction of a new stadium for Tottenham Hotspur will not just involve bigger stands, but a pioneering innovation to enable the venue to offer two pitches.

A retractable pitch is to be installed that will come in three parts, sitting in trays that are attached to rollers. These will be able to pull it out from the playing area under the stands, leaving space for an artificial pitch underneath.

This artificial surface will be designed to stage American football matches and other events such as concerts. NFL matches are already played at Wembley and Twickenham and the provision of a third venue in London could help provide a new revenue stream for the club, with up to two games a season being staged there. 

Sheffield-based engineering firm SCX has designed the retractable pitch. The company has a reputation for producing retractable structures for sporting projects, as it has created the roofs over Centre Court and Number One Court at Wimbledon, which can allow play to take place even when it is raining. 

Commenting on the development, Tottenham Hotspur's director of operations and finance Matthew Collecott said: "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."

No British club football stadium has a retractable roof, but there is one at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which hosts Welsh rugby and football internationals and also staged FA and League Cup finals during the 2000s when Wembley was being rebuilt.

Luton Town was one club that did consider a stadium with a retractable roof, unveiling plans in the mid 1990s. However, these fell through and only now is the club set to go ahead with a new home ground to replace its existing Kenilworth Road home.

Image: Spurs

 

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