PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine is the undisputed world leader for the business of stadia, arenas, sporting events and venues on a global scale.

All posts tagged hybrid turf

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.

Read more

Derby County FC has announced bold plans to build six new pitches using a new British grass system that is taking world football by storm.

In a statement of their ambitions, the east midlands club has signed a multi-million pound deal with Cumbria-based SIS Pitches to install their evolutionary SISGRASS ‘reinforced natural grass’ at the iPro Stadium and Moor Farm training facilities.

SISGRASS involves injecting, or ‘stitching’, more than 240 million lengths of synthetic yarn directly into a pitch – a total of 150 miles – which provide a critical anchor point for natural grass roots to bind onto.

The result is an immaculate surface that is up to seven times as hard-wearing as natural grass alone and yet offers softer, safer and more consistent playing characteristics for today’s injury-conscious players.

The Derby County news comes just two days after innovative grass company SIS Pitches announced SISGRASS has been chosen as the bespoke surface for the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow – the first time anything but natural grass has been permitted for the world’s most prestigious sporting event.

The Rams board gave the go-ahead for an identical system after head coach, Paul Clement, and his squad tested the surface during a full training session at the FA’s centre of excellence at St. George’s Park recently.

Clement came off the St. George’s Park pitch having been told it had just been used for two weeks solid by the Irish and Argentinian rugby world cup squads and declared:

It’s still absolutely perfect.

This kind of pitch allows us to play the football style we want and has a very even roll and bounce. It has the ‘give’ we are looking for and meets all of our requirements.

Assistant Coach and former England striker, Kevin Phillips, commented:

I loved it and the training session went very well. It’s fast and consistent.

Chelsea, Besiktas and Hull City have already installed the system, which was only launched last summer and SIS Pitches claims a long line of other football and rugby clubs are poised to take advantage.

Clement and his squad lie handily placed in the Championship table as the historic club bids to return to the English Premier League (EPL) at the end of this season. For him and increasing numbers of other top clubs SISGRASS is seen as an element offering a vital edge.

Backroom staff were won over by the promise of longer and better training with faster grass recovery and simpler maintenance on a pitch that is still 95% natural and is indistinguishable from all-natural grass.

John Vicars, Chief Operating Officer for Derby County FC commented:

Derby County is delighted to be using SISGRASS at both the iPro Stadium and the Training Centre.

We want the best quality surfaces right the way across the club and in SISGRASS we have chosen what we believe to be the highest level of innovative reinforced natural turf.

The club trialled the SISGRASS pitches recently at St George’s Park and the quality was particularly impressive. The coaching staff and players felt comfortable on it and that is extremely important for us.

SISGRASS installs within a week and is fitted by SIS Pitches, who fully understand natural and synthetic grass, which we believe makes them a perfect partner.

The Rams will wait until summer to install SISGRASS at the i-Pro Stadium. But work on the five training pitches, including a match pitch, are scheduled to start in Spring, using construction firm Talbots to perform construction work.

According to the company, their ability to install a pitch in a week is a key advantage SISGRASS holds over its rivals, as it means clubs can potentially install the system during mid-season breaks if required.

When it set out to create the ultimate playing surface in 2014, Cumbria-based SIS Pitches tasked Dutch engineers with designing a patented ‘giant sewing machine on tracks’. This machine methodically crawls across a pitch implanting, or ‘stitching’, laser guided precision rows of more than 240 million lengths of two-tone green synthetic yarn 180mm deep into the sub-surface.

Three times faster to install than rival systems with 50% more yarn, SISGRASS has been proven to promote healthier grass rootzones up to 10 inches deep, which allow more intensive use with faster recovery and drainage in foul weather.

The company says it is also more forgiving than all-natural grass when club chairman seek to use their facilities for hosting revenue-producing events.

SIS Pitches chose a tough test-bed for the new system when it installed the first SISGRASS pitch under the withering eye of St George’s Park Head Groundsman Alan Ferguson, probably the nation’s most senior pitch expert.

But Ferguson has been quick to back SISGRASS after supervising the top secret, patented laser-guided injector machine with SIS Pitches Project Director Phil Blackwell, himself a former Ipswich Town Head Groundsman.

Holding up a rootzone core, showing healthy 10 inch deep grassroots, Ferguson commented:

It’s not typical to see this amount of healthy rootzone in any pitch and for a reinforced natural grass turf system it is the best I’ve seen.

SIS Pitches CEO George Mullan, who rescued the firm’s Cumbria-based factory from demolition just 10 years ago remarked:

Derby are ambitious and for them to choose this product for six new pitches is a vindication of all our hard work and innovation.

He forecasts SISGRASS will eventually dominate world football and rugby with further usage in American Football and equestrian events.


Image: Derby players practising on SISGRASS for first time at St. George’s Park.

SIS Pitches installs first SISGRASS system at St. George’s Park

Comments Off on SIS Pitches installs first SISGRASS system at St. George’s Park

SIS Pitches have installed their new SISGRASS system at St. George’s Park; England’s National Football Centre and home of English football.

The SISGRASS system uses the latest patented technology and provides all clubs playing on a natural grass surface the opportunity to have the highest quality hybrid pitch at an affordable price.

This is the first major installation of the SISGRASS system in the UK, as SIS Pitches CEO, George Mullan, advised:

We are really pleased with SISGRASS having invested a significant amount of time and effort in developing a completely new hybrid system to meet the exact needs of our existing and future Clients worldwide. We see SISGRASS as a genuine game-changer and that is demonstrated by the amount of enquiries we are receiving on a daily basis.

Mullan continued:

A new SISGRASS pitch offers unrivalled durability, improved pitch recovery times, supports up to three times as many playing hours, and is ultimately the most advanced hybrid solution currently available on the market.

Work at St George’s Park commenced on May 25, 2015, and was completed in the fastest time. This has given both Chelsea and Hull City even greater confidence in having the SISGRASS system installed at their Training Grounds this summer.

Alan Ferguson from St. George’s Park is extremely impressed with the new SISGRASS pitch, as he explained:

With SISGRASS, SIS Pitches has not only matched the competition I believe they have bettered it. The accuracy of the stitching was amazing and was also cleaner and neater. Not having to worry about major oil leaks was also a huge comfort. 

The whole pitch was done extremely quickly, its playability is excellent and all in all SISGRASS is a massive step forward, one which will benefit many clubs and training grounds in the months and years ahead.

SIS Pitches have installed their new system, SISGRASS at St. George's Park, National Football Centre and home of English football.

SIS Pitches have installed their new SISGRASS system at St. George’s Park; England’s National Football Centre and home of English football.


For further information, go to:


Ecosse Sports first to install SIS Pitches new product

Comments Off on Ecosse Sports first to install SIS Pitches new product

Scottish firm Ecosse Sports Ltd, based in Edinburgh, are to become the first client in the UK to install SIS Pitches brand new product – Hybrid 60 3G synthetic grass.  

Ecosse Sports are installing the grass at Scotstoun Sports Campus in Glasgow for Glasgow Life, who deliver cultural and leisure services on behalf of Glasgow City Council. The refurbishment of the existing hockey pitch to Hybrid 60 was just one part of a major project that involved work to existing 5-a-side and tennis court facilities at Scotstoun.

SIS Pitches have developed the new synthetic grass to meet customer demands. It incorporates Bonar Yarn’s products who are one of the oldest independent producers of synthetic yarns, founded on over a century of expertise and experience.

Bryn Lee, Commercial Director from Bonar Yarns said:

The success of using hybrid systems has been proven previously, as they provide an ideal balance and are a perfect surface choice to achieve long-term value. Using our environmentally friendly MN Ultra yarn, we believe we can help SIS with their exciting new project to further enhance performance.

The new Hybrid grass offers the combined benefits of both polyethylene monofilament and fibrillating fibres. Monofilament fibres are resilient and give excellent pile recovery whilst fibrillating fibres reduce infill splash meaning this new grass offers the very best quality for clients.

Hybrid also offers the very latest in extrusion technology and high grade polymers, with superior tuft lock for optimum product integrity.

It is ideal for both football and rugby playing surfaces and has been tested to both FIFA and IRB standards.

Steve Spaven, Sales Director for SIS Pitches said:

We are very excited to be able to offer this new Hybrid product to our clients, giving them the best of both worlds with the combined fibre benefits. We have already had a lot of interest in the product, so believe this will be the first of many installations of the new grass.

For more information on SIS Pitches work, please visit:

WRU unveils pitch perfect Millennium Stadium

Comments Off on WRU unveils pitch perfect Millennium Stadium
The new hybrid pitch at the Millennium Stadium will “transform the playing surface and enhance the worldwide reputation of the home of Welsh rugby”, the WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said this week.

The WRU officially unveiled the new surface in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday (8 November).

Roger Lewis was joined by double Grand Slam winning Welsh international Mike Phillips and the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates for the landmark unveiling of the new pitch.

The DESSO pitch installation, which intertwines grass turf with millions of artificial fibres, aims to strengthen the quality of the playing surface in line with the most advanced sports stadia in the world.

The £3.1 million venture also includes new state-of-the-art ‘plug and play’ facilities for media and a Terraplas covering to protect the surface during non-pitch events, such as rock concerts and motorsports.

The major investment has been fully supported and part-funded by the Welsh Government as part of their strategy to attract major events to Wales.

The pitch will provide the stage for Wales’ four autumn internationals against Australia, Fiji (15 Nov), New Zealand (22 Nov) and South Africa (29 Nov) – 45 weeks before the eyes of the world watch Rugby World Cup 2015 host eight games at the Millennium Stadium.

Roger Lewis said:

The installation of this fantastic new pitch is undoubtedly one of the most important transformations we have instigated since the Stadium opened in 1999. International rugby played at the Millennium Stadium is watched by hundreds of millions of people on television around the world and we must ensure the action takes place on a surface which can help create the best possible exhibition of top class sport. The fans who attend matches will undoubtedly benefit from being able to watch games they know will flow at speed with players running across top quality turf. The need to remove the palletised pitch to host non-sporting events is now confined to history so we have retained true flexibility for the venue as a multi-event stadium. The durability of the hybrid surface opens up exciting possibilities for a range of rugby to be played at the Millennium Stadium. This will undoubtedly enhance our legacy to the nation as both top class and community events can flourish on the surface we have installed. I want to thank the Welsh Government for realising the potential in this project for Wales and supporting the WRU in the project so enthusiastically.

Phillips, the 87 times capped Wales scrum half, has also hailed the new hybrid pitch at the Millennium Stadium as a game-changer for Wales:

Millennium Stadium is the greatest international rugby stadium in the world and with the brand new hybrid pitch there can be no doubt that Wales have the very best playing environment to rival all the other rugby nations. The Desso brand is highly-regarded across the industry, well-known to us players and is the best pitch for the stadium. As we prepare to take on Australia, the new playing surface and retractable roof at the Millennium means we can feel absolutely certain of the conditions underfoot and plan for a faster and more fluid style of play which is guaranteed to be a fantastic spectacle for the fans.

Phillips will join the rest of the squad for a training session on the new pitch this afternoon. He added:

The squad are chomping at the bit to get out on the new pitch and show the fans, the Welsh Rugby Union and Welsh Government how much their continued support means to us. “The four Autumn games are huge for us in terms of World Cup preparation and we’ll be holding nothing back when we face Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa over the coming weeks.

The Deputy Minister for Sport added:

It’s so important that the Millennium Stadium continues to strive to develop and improve in order to compete with the best stadiums in the world. This latest enhancement will be a major boost for the stadium in attracting more events and supporters. We were pleased to back this important investment with £1.7m as part of our commitment to bring major events to Wales and raise our profile around the world. The flexibility provided by this new pitch means Wales can look forward to hosting more international sporting, music and cultural events. I am very much looking forward to seeing it in action this weekend!

The 15-week installation project was carried out by Hewitt Sportsturf, who won the bid to replace the removable palletised pitch with the fixed Desso surface.

Managing Director at Hewitt Sportsturf John Hewitt said:

Hewitt Sportsturf were delighted and honoured to be chosen as the main contractor for the design and construction of the prestigious Millennium Stadium pitch and inner bowl design and construction project. The new pitch design includes state of the art technology and monitoring including high performance pop-up irrigation to enable the entire pitch to be watered at the same time. The pitch also includes hot water undersoil heating and Desso Grassmaster stabilisation. The pitch surround now includes synthetic grass surfaces including complete service channel containment for permanent media access. 

CEO at Desso, Alexander Collot d’Escury, added:

Supplying the pitch for the Millennium Stadium is a prestigious project for our company and hopefully an inspiration to other multi-functional stadiums.  Desso GrassMaster enables stadiums to combine sports and events in the same location, without compromising on the grass pitch. With the Desso GrassMaster pitch at the Millennium Stadium, we hope to contribute to high level, attractive rugby when Wales take on Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa.

Since its official opening in 1999, the home of Welsh rugby has staged 100 Welsh rugby internationals and continues to improve its facilities for the 770,000 paying visitors it attracts, on average, per year.

This season will also see the launch of a revamped Wales Team changing room, a state-of-the-art medical centre, new studio facilities for rights-holding broadcasters and improved internet facilities for the all media.

Rugby supporters can see Wales in action against Australia on the brand new pitch this weekend with tickets available now from £60 via Tickets can be purchased from £10 for children and £20 for adults for Wales versus Fiji on Saturday 15 November while a limited number of tickets are available for games against the All Blacks and the Springboks.

About Millennium Stadium:

Millennium Stadium is wholly owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union and is the home of the Wales rugby team. More than 6.25 million rugby supporters have cheered on the national side at 100 home Test matches, including three Grand Slams and four RBS 6 Nations Championship titles.

The venue opened to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup and has since attracted RWC organisers back to Cardiff for the 2007 tournament and for 2015 brings a total of eight games including two of Wales’ pool matches and two quarter finals.

Situated in the city-centre of Cardiff, the venue can hold up to 74,500 spectators and welcomes around 1.3 million visitors per year to Cardiff. The stadium has the UK’s largest fully-retractable roof, which takes just 20 minutes to open or close, at the touch of a button. With the roof closed, the Millennium Stadium is Europe’s largest indoor arena.

The Millennium Stadium has hosted over 350 major sporting and entertainment events within its multi-event arena. On the live music scene, the stadium has staged an impressive line-up of international stars such as Madonna, the Rolling Stones, Take That and U2.

In football, the Millennium Stadium boasts a UEFA 5-Star rating and staged six showpiece FA Cup Finals during the construction of Wembley Stadium. Thereafter the stadium opened London 2012 Olympics Games with the very first event in the women’s football tournament on July 25th, two days ahead of London’s opening ceremony. And during the Games a total of 11 games were played across the men’s and women’s competitions, culminating with the men’s Bronze Medal Final.

Events at the stadium deliver an approximate £130m boost to the local economy and help to sustain more than 2,500 jobs in Wales.


Issued on behalf of Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) by Gemma Rowe