Non-sports events, such as concerts, in stadiums have always been a big concern for the stadium management and the groundsmanager in particular.
Prior to 1990, Stadiums used timber or tarpaulins to try to alleviate the damage caused to their natural grass fields by tens of thousands of people and hundreds of tons of equipment .
In 1990 along came Terraplas, the originators of what is now called “turf or pitch protection”.
The patented idea ensured that the cover would not only keep the grass green and healthy, but would also provide a safe and comfortable floor for the thousands of patrons that stand, jump and dance on it.
This innovative product specification, allows the sunlight to pass through to the grass below, thus enabling photosynthesis to continue even when the grass is covered. It also has special holes in the top, to allow the grass to breathe and because of its unique design, watering of the grass is not needed while the system is fitted on the grass.
During the 1990 concert season at Wembley Stadium in London, sample tiles were tested and it proved that not only did they keep the grass healthy, the system worked like a greenhouse.
That was the start of true Turf/Pitch Protection and that original system supplied to Wembley Stadium 30 years ago, is still in use today.
As with all other pitch technologies, a turf protection system only provide exactly the value that is expected of them if it’s been used in the proper way. Training of groundsmen and installation teams, utilizing the proper pre-pitch protection maintenance of the grass and post-protection treatment are key to optimize the investment of such a pitch protection system. Once again, the experience and know-how of Terraplas are crucial in supplying and using the system in the right way.