SCX tells the story of its world-first retractable pitch to the Sport Business Summit

Sports business leaders heard today (Oct 8) how Sheffield engineering played a key role in the pioneering retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur’s new multi-million stadium.

Projects Director Danny Pickard from Wincobank-based SCX recounted the experience to delegates from across the world at the Sports Business Summit at Leaders Week.

Danny told how he worked with both architects Populous and the football club itself so that the stadium could host the two biggest sports in the world – Premier League soccer and American National Football League.

Some of the most prominent executives in sport, entertainment, media, marketing and technology from around the world are attending the Leaders Week London 2019 conference at Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby.

They are discussing fast-moving changes in the industry, including the technology transformation and the increasing competition for consumers’ time and disposable income.

Danny works for SCX Special Projects, the bespoke engineering arm of the SCX group, based in Wincobank, Sheffield, that provides innovative mechanical handling solutions not only in the sports industry, but also in the aerospace, nuclear and defence sectors.

He spoke at a Leaders Week session that explores the technology, design and delivery of a 10,000-tonne sliding pitch to provide both a natural turf surface and an artificial surface in the same stadium.

He discussed the project alongside Tom Jones, Senior Principal with global architectural design firm Populous, and Paul Jennings, Technology Manager with Tottenham Hotspur.

SCX Special Projects’ engineering expertise and flair was also harnessed in the design, manufacture and installation of sliding roofs for Centre and No.1 Courts at Wimbledon.

Danny describes the Tottenham pitch as “a phenomenal success, equal to what we have achieved with the retractable roofs for Centre Court and No.1 Court for the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, and within a very tight timescale.”

“The most important thing to recognise is the power of the partnership with Populous and Tottenham Hotspur. There was a shared vision and a shared drive to make this work – and it did, first time, exactly as expected.”

The innovative system means the venue can be used for music concerts and other events in addition to regular football matches and NFL games.