Sand for the new Tottenham Hotspurs’ pitch was supplied by Sibelco. Their case study reveals some interesting details.
Sibelco supplied 3,000 tons of sand and 1,800 tons of root zone to the new GBP 1 bn Tottenham Hotspurs’ Stadium in London – the new home of the ‘Spurs’ football team who celebrated the stadium’s official opening with a 2 – 0 victory over Crystal Palace.
Sibelco quarries in the United Kingdom supply sand for 80 percent of all stadiums and training pitches in the British Premier League. In addition to the 62,000 seated stadium, in 2018 alone, Sibelco supplied more than 25,000 tons of sand to football training facilities so top teams can optimally prepare on high-quality surfaces, similar to those they compete on.
The sand used in these projects is typically coarser than sands used for other sports applications like equestrianism or golf bunkers because it needs to have enough space between the grains to allow the grass to grow and for the pitch to drain well.
6,000 tons of sand and 3,000 tons of root zone was provided to the Spurs’ new training fields. The ‘root zone mix’, refers to the top layer in which the roots grow; a combination of sand and soil with a part of compost or zeolite. Sibelco uses computer models to make simulations of the ideal composition of the sand, as the correct composition determines the drainage and therefore the quality of the field.
Some interesting facts:
• The pitch dimensions are 105m x 68m, which is bigger than White Hart Lane (the former stadium of Tottenham Hotspurs), which was 100m x 67m. The new stadium pitch has exactly the same measurements as Wembley Stadium.
• The grass pitch sits in three pitch-long steel sections, weighing more than 3,000 tons each, which are driven by 68 electric motors and rolls along rails using 168 wheels.
• It takes around 25 minutes to change surfaces between the football and NFL pitch beneath and the hydraulic sides lift up to bring the touchlines to same level as the pitch.
• The grass pitch retracts into a storage garage in the south stand when other events are played on the artificial surface underneath and it can stay in there for up to ten days thanks to LED lighting, cooling and irrigation systems.