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Leading domestic and international companies have been snapping up stands to participate at this year’s Stadia & Arena event in Japan.

The conference and exhibition is expected to be the largest ever gathering of sports venue industry professionals in the entire APAC region.

The Sports Business Japan/Stadia & Arena conference and exhibition will take place at the Saitama Super Arenain Japan in November.

The event will run from 19-20 November 2019, with a site tour on Monday, November 18.

The venue for the 2019 event is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Chūō-ku, Saitama City, Saitama, Japan.

The arena features a gigantic moveable section of seating which can reduce capacity for smaller events and create a more intimate setting.

Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

Some of the companies booked to exhibit at the show include:

Natural Grass – stand number Q1

Natural Grass have developed the most advanced reinforcement technologies for football and rugby pitches. Designed to reduce the carbon footprint and the use of water while increasing athletes’ performance, those hybrid grass technologies equip the most demanding clubs across the world.

By introducing state-of-the-art technologies (not only hybrid grass, but also marketing or medical technologies, all related to sports pitches), Natural Grass is at the forefront of developing cutting edge sports venues. The company is recognized for its innovative vision, sustainable commitment and forward-thinking technologies.

Signature Systems Group– Stand Q5+Q6

Signature Systems Group designs and manufactures the industry’s strongest and most durable event flooring systems to protect delicate natural and synthetic turf. With fast installation and dismantle times and reuse for many years, Signature products provide a dramatic return on investment. With Signature stadium products you can install chairs and staging, drive forklifts, move vehicles, and place equipment over turf, track, or sensitive surfaces without causing damage while ensuring the safety of guests and workers. Trust your field to the world’s largest manufacturer of natural and synthetic turf protection systems.



Kotobuki Seating is a manufacturer of public chairs founded in 1914. As a  pioneer of public seating, We have been engaged in various buildings and structures, including major theaters, stadiums and arenas with five major domes, and famous school facilities in Japan. Through our group companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea, Our delivery destinations are spreading worldwide.


CHUBU provides integrated system engineering at every level of turf development, operation and management.  Our products is used in a wide range of facilities such as stadiums, golf courses, school lawns, public green spaces, home gardens, etc.

If you are interested in receiving further information about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities please contact Sam Wibrew –

During the 2016 UEFA European Championship (EURO ’16) in France, 4 of the 10 stadiums used for the competition were equipped with AirFibr: Lyon (Parc OL), Toulouse (Stadium), Saint-Etienne (Stade Geoffroy Guichard) and Bordeaux (Matmut Atlantique). All of them enjoyed a high quality pitch, and were recognised among the best pitches of the tournament.

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ final in Russia will be played on a grass pitch installed by world-leading British firm SIS Pitches, it has been announced this week.

The prestigious contract for the historic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was awarded this week by the World Cup organisers and is a second coup for the SIS Pitches negotiating team; its Eastern European division having already won the bid to install the Spartak Moscow pitch, which will host one of the World Cup semi-finals.

SIS Division Managing Director, Ilyas Kobal – part of the SIS Pitches group, which also makes synthetic grass at its factory in Maryport, Cumbria, UK – said:

It’s fantastic news. It will be a natural grass pitch. It’s our first World Cup final pitch and obviously it is a very important contract.

It was a long tender process but in the end our advantages meant even the local companies could not match us.

SIS Pitches was chosen ahead of strong competition from Russian and other international firms, having previously demonstrated its pedigree at the Luzhniki Stadium, under difficult conditions.

Kobal added:

We also did the Champions League pitch for the historic all-English 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, which was also at the Luzhniki.

At that time there was a synthetic pitch at the Luzhniki, like at many stadiums in Russia. But for the CL final it had to be played on grass, so we re-laid the pitch with grass just for one game.

SIS was chosen at the very last minute and it was a race against time. In the end we had to go outside Russia for the right kind of grass and it involved bringing 22 refrigerated trucks of turf from Slovakia.

I think it went a long way to helping us win the World Cup final. They could also see we have also laid pitches at Spartak Moscow and FC Krasnodar.

Work is already underway to transform the Luzhniki Stadium and is following recent trends in upgrading infrastructure at historic stadiums, while preserving the familiar features that are cemented in fan folklore.

Building work on the stadium will last 12 months, while SIS Pitches designs the complex pitch sub surface structure ready for installation commencing next summer.

Due to the brutal Russian winter, it will involve a system of undersoil aeration, drainage, irrigation and even heating to allow the pitch to be used all year. A custom-designed, reinforced fibre-sand rootzone will be laid and then seeded to be ready by May 2017 in time for the Confederations Cup.

The stadium will then close for a year until the World Cup, where it will also be used in the opening match, featuring the host nation.

Kobal commented:

It’s not a teardown and will hold onto the historic parts which are really beautiful. They are taking out the old Olympic track and rebuilding the stands so the spectators are close to the pitch, which will increase the atmosphere for games.”

After the World Cup, SIS Pitches Eastern European will then strip out the grass pitch and install one of its custom synthetic surfaces, capable of withstanding the winter. The stadium will then become ‘home’ to the Russian national team.

The company has also signed two year deal to maintain the pitch.


About SIS Group

SIS Group produces more than 500,000sqm of pristine artificial grass annually; custom-designed for an array of sports, schools, public spaces and also residential gardens. Much of it is a product of the SIS tufting shopfloor at its base in Maryport, Cumbria, which has provided critical jobs in a cash-strapped region for years. SIS pitches have been installed at more than 120 stadiums across the world, from Russia to Dubai.

For further information, go to:

In the world of sports turf management, few have mastered the art of mowing patterns. Sculpting a field with unique designs is truly a craft that requires patience, dedication and a detailed game plan. As the Sports Turf Manager’s Association (STMA) second annual “Mowing Patterns Contest” winner in 2014, Head Groundskeeper for the Memphis Redbirds, Ben Young, provides a few tips and hints to utilise when using your natural grass field as a canvas.


Know Your Game Plan

Before diving into intricate mowing patterns, it’s important to devise a plan. I recommend drawing the pattern out on paper first, so you know what you’re doing before you start cutting.


Once deciding which pattern you would like to mow, make sure your team is on the same page and get to it!



A critical aspect of mowing is knowing how high or low to cut the grass.


A higher mowing height is what I would recommend. Typically, I mow at one inch for cool season grass, such as blue grass, and three-quarters of an inch for warm season grass, such as Bermuda.


The higher the grass is, the greater contrast is projected between light and dark blades, vastly improving pattern coloration.


Straight as an Arrow

Another key element to bear in mind is how straight each line is. Three tools I always carry with me are: a can of spray paint, string lines and a tape measure.


Once laying down a string line or tape measure, I spray a dot to mark the field for precision. After spraying, you can remove the tape measure and lines to avoid mowing over them.


Utilising a tape measure can be helpful to keep the integrity of your lines in check.


Picasso Patterns

Baseball is typically the sport with the most flexibility with patterns due to the outfield. Football and soccer require more painted field lines that align with the rules of the game, such as first downs and off sides. This makes it more difficult for a sports turf manager to deviate and express his or her creativity.


Once you are ready to begin cutting, the primary piece of equipment you’ll need is a reel mower.  Personally, with Memphis we utilise the Toro Triplex 3100.


Each reel has a roller, knocking the grass down and laying it over, creating a pattern.


To produce the pattern, I mow in the same direction using a reel mower to provide various patterns. One of the challenges is that you must continue to mow in the same direction over the course of several home games to maintain a crisp pattern.


In order for the pattern to ‘pop’ and look ‘clean’, I recommend mowing it in a few times. We also mow daily during homestands, which certainly helps the pattern show, but is mainly to keep the playing surface consistent on a day-to-day basis.


Finally, more intricate patterns require more work, measuring and planning to achieve desired results.


Additionally, when mowing any pattern I always start in the same place so the pattern won’t shift.


Cooler season grasses, such as bluegrass, are typically better for mowing patterns because they are cut higher, although you can still produce patterns with warm season grasses as well.


In the end, one of the most fundamental aspects of mowing patterns is how the light hits the grass. To achieve this, it’s encouraged to bend the grass towards or away from you, depending on which shade of grass you’d like to project.


Consistency and Playability

Something else to consider, is ensuring all patterns are even and consistent, to prevent balls from hopping and bouncing strangely in the outfield. This instils trust in your home team’s manager and players so they will be more confident in your ability to produce a consistent playing surface.


Practice Makes Perfect

Like everything in life, practice makes perfect.  Mowing patterns require a lot of practice, but are well worth it once the final result comes to fruition.


The business of mowing patterns is getting more creative by the inning. The proverbial torch continues to be passed down by sports turf managers, with each new generation stepping up to the plate.


Last, but not least, don’t forget to have fun!



About Ben Young

The 2014 Sports Turf Managers Association second annual “Mowing Patterns Contest” winner, Young is the Head Groundskeeper for the Memphis Redbirds, Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Formerly the head groundskeeper of the Double-A Altoona Curve, he has won numerous awards for his work, including 2013 Eastern League Groundskeeper of the Year and 2010 “Craig Kuhl” award for best field in the Frontier League. A Southeast Missouri State graduate, Young hails from Germantown, Ill, USA.

Ben Young