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Pitch seeding completed at the newly transformed London Stadium

Seeding of the pitch at the brand new London Stadium – formerly the Olympic Stadium – began last week, with the playing surface to be ready for its first cut next week. The innovative Desso artificial turf fibres will ensure a world-class quality pitch for new tenants, West Ham United FC.

West Ham United moved another exciting step closer to moving to their new London Stadium ‘home’ last week, with the first seeds having been sown on the pitch mid last week.

The work will result in the Hammers playing on a world-class quality surface at the centrepiece of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Seeding began last Wednesday morning, June 8, and the process took around four hours to complete.

The first sprouts of grass are hoped to be seen this week, and the pitch should be ready for its inaugural full cut just two to five days later.

Head Groundsman at the London Stadium, Greg Bolton, working in conjunction with West Ham’s Head Groundsman, Dougie Robertson, expressed the importance of the seeding and assured supporters that it would be handled in the right way.

Bolton said:

It certainly is a big moment [in the development of the Stadium]. It’s very important that this is taken with great care. I think the idea is not to rush this process. We have to get it right.
The contractors we have on site are one of the best around. They do all the top grounds in the country, and we’re glad to have them on board here. It most certainly will be one of the best surfaces around.

The Stadium hosted its first gig on Saturday night, with rock legends AC/DC attracting a huge crowd to E20, and the ground staff ensured the pitch was prepared for the seeding process after the concert.

Though the seeds on the surface will take around a week to shoot, the pitch already has a green colouring, which Bolton explained is due to the artificial components in the turf:

It’s very deceiving at the moment. We’ve got the Desso fibres all exposed, and a lot of people think we’ve got full grass coverage already, but all that is just the reinforcing system in the surface.
It’s exactly the same as the Club had at the Boleyn Ground, and it just helps aid soil stability. We shouldn’t have any big divots coming out of the surface; it should just be scarring. It helps with repairs and holding the surface together.

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Image courtesy: Populous.

The transformation of the former London Olympic Stadium to its new guise as London Stadium, which will be the new home of West Ham United FC and also UK Athletics, features in our latest Q2 edition that goes to print on June 17, 2016.