0 Arsenal light up Highbury pitch

Gunners are pitch perfect

Arsenal Football Club is the first Club in the UK to invest in a full scale revolutionary pitch growth and lighting system, which will help produce perfect grass growing conditions, even in the winter months.

Arsenal is using the state-of-the-art system for the final season at Highbury, as well as at Emirates Stadium when the Club moves to its new 60,000 capacity home next season.

The system, created by Dutch company SGL, will help assist in controlling and managing all pitch growth factors, such as light, temperature, CO², water, air and nutrients, making a pitch of summer quality throughout the year a real possibility.

The new technology, which is already being successfully used at Dutch Champions PSV Eindhoven, enables continuous analysis of grass growth and precise definition of what the grass needs. Sensors which are installed in and above the pitch measure and register all growing conditions making it possible to check the history of growth factors and thus revealing the causes behind a decline in growth.

Arsenal's Manager Arsène Wenger, said; "A good playing surface is extremely important to the way we play football and although the pitch at Highbury is already a very good standard, we hope this new technology will further improve the quality of our pitch this season. This new system will also hopefully assist in giving us a high quality playing surface at Emirates Stadium when we move next season."

Arsenal's Head Groundsman at Highbury, Paul Burgess, enthused: "The Club has achieved a real first in this country by investing in this system. We are confident that this new technology will enable us to create a fantastic playing surface throughout the year. We are excited about seeing the results at both Highbury this season and then at Emirates Stadium."

SGL's director, Nico van Vuuren, said: "Combining a variety of technologies makes it possible to grow grass continually year round. Ensuring continuous growth means that grass in the stadiums can recover quickly after each match, keeping the grass in good condition. This enables us to continually maintain an optimal playing field."

Further details of the lighting rig can be viewed here http://www.pitchcare.com/magazine/article.php?id=2345

(Press release reproduced from Arsenal FC website)

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