Videos

Pitch renovations at the Bet365 Stadium

bet365_stadium

Grounds manager Andrew Jackson explains the detailed process involved in preparing the turf at the home ground of English soccer side Stoke City FC before the start of the 2018-19 season.

Click image to view video

Inside the Kinnick Stadium renovation

kinnick renovation stadium video

The US$89m renovation at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium is taking shape. See the progress being made at the north end zone in this behind-the-build video.

Click image to view video

Betty Engelstad Sioux Center Floor Redesign Timelapse

la_coliseum_update

This time-lapse video shows the detailed process of redesigning the wood floor at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center at the University of North Dakota, home to its basketball and volleyball teams.

Click image to view video

Affectionately known as 'Smurf Turf' at what stadium will you find the world's only blue AstroTurf playing surface? 


Join our
LinkedIn Group


Web Exclusives

« back to listing

Web exclusive: St George's Park site visit

Stadia spends the day at the English FA’s national center

 

The first thing that strikes visitors to St George’s Park National Football Centre is the sheer scale of the place. Set on a 330-acre site in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, UK, the national focal point for the English Football Association seems less like an elite sports facility and more a village devoted to soccer. Winding roads bisect the site and groups of players, coaches and staff stride purposefully between the pitches and buildings – England’s national game permeates the entire place.

Opened in 2012, St George’s Park was designed to serve as the base for the FA’s coaching and development programs. Boasting 13 world-class pitches – featuring a mixture of natural and synthetic turf, and a full-size indoor field – SGP also offers state-of-the-art hydrotherapy, training and analysis, educational and coaching, and medical facilities. Which all sounds very impressive, but simply listing the facilities doesn’t do justice to the overarching feeling that sport dominates every aspect of the site – the FA’s mission to promote and improve soccer (and other sports, the England Rugby League team also calls SGP home) is apparent throughout.

Stadia’s tour begins in SGP’s hotel. Situated on site, the center’s 228-room accommodation is managed by Hilton Hotels group – with two of the chain’s brands operating within the facility. The hotel hosts the national teams when they’re training at St George’s (as well as visiting teams and national soccer organizations), and throughout the year the expansive conference spaces house various workshops, seminars and programs. Everything from libraries to conference rooms (named for an array of legendary players and managers) are accessible without leaving the building. The ethos of the facility places everything teams might need to train, study and improve within touching distance.

The array of pitches on the site is designed to offer virtually any conceivable training and match specification. FIFA- and UEFA-rated surfaces are dotted throughout the facility – including a replica of the Wembley Stadium pitch which, during Stadia’s visit, is staging a match between youth national sides from England and Italy. But it’s not only the national teams that make use of SGP. Local teams play and train here. As Alan Ferguson, the FA Group’s head of grounds and estates explains, “this place is never quiet. You’d think there would be days when not many people are using the facilities, but that has never happened.” Responsible for maintaining the surfaces at SGP (as well as the Wembley Stadium surface in London), Ferguson and his team operate on a near-constant cycle of maintenance and upkeep. Look out for an in-depth interview with Ferguson in the June 2017 issue of Stadia magazine.

An indoor hall is sprung to host futsal games, and the national partially sighted soccer teams also call SGP home. Part of the FA’s DNA roll-out – a national strategy for advancing soccer – is to make SGP a truly inclusive location for everybody involved in the sport. But SGP is also more than capable of welcoming teams from an array of different sports – and there’s a commercial angle too, with an outdoor learning center that seems to be particularly popular with corporate clients and team building delegations.

There’s a common-sense approach to a lot of the facility’s design – for example, warm up and gym space overlooks the Wembley replica pitch so that squads can follow the action; and the indoor pitch has a covered running track for warm up sprints or exercise bike sessions. Great care has been taken to enable players and coaching staff to have immediate access to whatever they might need – and to champion the positive mentality the FA is conjuring around the (admittedly beleaguered, of late) senior men’s team. The road to Russia 2018 dominates much of the branding throughout SGP – countdown timers and recent qualification results are emblazoned on the walls.

But SGP is not a marketing or PR exercise. This is a working facility – grow lighting sits between pitches, maintenance equipment waits at the side of fields for training sessions to end so that the surfaces can be inspected and tended to, and Ferguson’s team work to a complex schedule, coordinated to keep the pitches and fields in the best possible condition while also making the surfaces available to whichever teams want to make use of the facilities.

There are talks of expansion too, perhaps the greatest testament to the success of the project. SGP had a sporadic road to completion and, as is often the case, the validity of the capital expenditure was called into question on a number of occasions. “Some people suggested it was too big,” Ferguson says. “When you see the reality of this facility, it’s probably more a case of it not being big enough.”

February 22, 2017

 

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

One-on-one: Ron Moors, Schmitz Foam quality and development manager

Ron Moors, quality and development manager at Schmitz Foam, talks to Stadia about the developments in synthetic turf and whether it could completely replace natural grass pitches in the future.  
Click here to read more



World Cup 2018 stadium guide: The facts and stats of every host venue

The FIFA 2018 World Cup will see 64 games played at 12 venues, new and old, across Russia during the tournament. Here’s a list of every stadium and the story behind them.
Click here to read more



CR Laurence makes Banc of California Stadium see-through

The recently opened Banc of California in Los Angeles needed glass that is safe and fit for purpose to achieve its contemporary look. Here’s a look at what it took to make that happen.
Click here to read more



Gloucester Rugby to digitize the fan experience at Kingsholm Stadium

Gloucester Rugby club is drop-kicking its Kingsholm Stadium into the modern era by installing a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure to create a fully connected stadium that aims to digitize the fan experience with a new generation of digital services.  
Click here to read more



Harman lights up Jyske Bank Boxen Arena

Audio and lighting solutions can transform a venue with a simple flick of a switch, which is something visitors to the Jyske Bank Boxen Arena in Denmark will now be able to experience as a result of a dynamic installation.  
Click here to read more




Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the stadia community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to matt.ross@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email john.doherty@ukimediaevents.com

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightWe are building a list of leading suppliers covering all aspects of the stadia industry. Want to see your company included? Contact john.doherty@ukimediaevents.com for more details.