Wembley Stadium has signed a four-year agreement with Toro for turfcare equipment aimed at ensuring the new hallowed turf is maintained to the highest standards. The deal adds another of the world's high profile sporting venues to the growing list of famous names already associated with Toro.
Bob Buckingham, the company's European director of sales, said: "Toro is delighted to be working with the new Wembley Stadium. It's a huge opportunity to work closely with the new national stadium and provide equipment, support and service to the most famous soccer venue in the world. We're looking forward to a long and successful association."
Grounds manager at the new Wembley, Steve Welch - previously at Nottingham Forest's City Ground, and a former professional football club national Groundsman of The Year - will ultimately become the guardian of the holy turf when the venue is completed. He said: "I've used Toro for many years and they were my first choice for Wembley. They are reliable, good quality, and their back-up and support are superb."
His new Toro kit includes a Workman 3300 utility vehicle with mounted sprayer, a Workman e2050 electric utility vehicle, Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder mower, ProCore 648 aerator and a 21in pedestrian fine mower.
Steve chose the ProCore 648 specifically because it's able to cope with the stadium's fibre sand pitch. "The action of the ProCore, and because it uses solid tines, means it can give full penetration of the fibre sand pitch, which is slightly firmer than soil-based turf, and really open it up," he said.
With a very heavy schedule of football and other events planned, support was a vital element of the Toro deal and this is being provided through their local dealer AT Oliver & Sons.
"They will be Wembley Stadium's main service point for all on-site machinery and provide comprehensive support - back-up, parts, service, the works - for every machine we have here, whatever the manufacturer," said Steve. "And we will receive additional support prior to major events.
"Toro guarantees that repair times are short, machines that cannot be repaired are replaced immediately, and parts arrive in double-quick time - but this is the high level of support we must have here with such a demanding schedule. Reliability is key, and Toro have such a good set-up."
The new Wembley, with its spectacular iconic arch, has 90,000 seats and is described as the greatest and largest football stadium in the world. The state-of the art venue is designed for fans, as well as players, to enjoy an unmatched experience. And not only will it play host to football, as there will be a fantastic line-up of other world-class events like rugby and music concerts.
Toro commercial turf maintenance products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely (UK) Limited, St Neots, Cambridgeshire (tel: 01480 226800), and in all of Ireland by Lely Ireland Limited, Kilboggin, Nurney, Co. Kildare (tel: 00 353 (0)45 526170).
Photo caption: Steve Welch and Toro's Bob Buckingham, far right, with, from left, Lely's Trevor Chard and Charlie Glenister of AT Oliver & Sons, outside the new Wembley.