Tottenham unveil plans for 'world first' retractable pitch for new stadium

The retractable football pitch at Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium will be the first of its kind in the world, according to the company designing it.

Tottenham's new 61,500-seater home, due to be ready for the start of the 2018-19 season, will include a retractable grass pitch for football matches, and a synthetic pitch underneath for NFL matches, music concerts and other events.

Spurs have agreed a 10-year deal with the NFL to host at least two NFL matches per year in the new ground, which is being built a stone's throw from the site of the old White Hart Lane.

The ground also includes a separate dressing room and media facilities for the NFL, and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has previously said he plans to host back-to-back Premier League and NFL matches on the same day, while he hopes the ground will become the permanent home to an NFL franchise.

Spurs have chosen SCX to design, engineer, build and install the pitch over a 12-week period from October and, in a statement, the company said the real-turf football pitch will sit in three pitch-long steel trays, weighing more than 3,000 tonnes each.

The surface will split into three sections to show each tray before retracting under the South Stand to reveal the artificial playing surface underneath. The process of switching from one surface to another is expected to take approximately 25 minutes.

Once the grass pitch is returned, the joins are invisible and undetectable.

SCX managing director Simon Eastwood said: "We are so very proud to deliver this engineering world first."

SCX were also the team behind building the retractable roof on Centre Court at Wimbledon, and will be adding a similar installation to Court One for the 2019 tournament.