Video: The incredible retractable pitch at the Bernabeu

By Mike Hayes13 December 2021

In a new animated video, Spanish engineering firm Sener demonstrates the intricate operation of its patented retractable football pitch technology.

An illustration of how Sener’s retractable pitch technology could be used to host alternative sporting events within a stadium

The system has been installed at the legendary Santiago Bernabeu Stadium - home of Spanish footballing giant Real Madrid.

Sener says its system allows the natural grass field to be removed from any stadium in the world, even if its original design did not allow for this.

As a result, any stadium can become a multipurpose venue and host all kinds of shows, from concerts, conventions and fairs, to all types of sporting events different from the main event, including e-sports or even water sports, thus expanding its potential commercial operation.

The system moves trays containing the natural grass of the pitch to an underground storage chamber called Hypogeum, named after the space beneath the arena of Rome’s Colosseum.

This area, provided with ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, control and irrigation systems, can be used to set up ideal ambient conditions to preserve the grass, providing access for groundsmen and landscaping materials for ideal continuous maintenance, regardless of the events that may be taking place in the stadium.

One of the project’s designers, Sener architect Jorge Vizcaya, said, “In many ways,cstadiums have become the modern shrines. However, the sports function, for which most of them were designed, precludes any use or operation for alternative activities.

“At Sener, we have always believed that stadiums must be designed in such a way that their function transcends a mere sporting use. Provideded with the greatest technological advances, they must become true meeting points for cities that are able to combine different urban functions and infrastructures to serve the public year round. It is this design premise that inspired us to develop this system at Sener.”

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