Monday, 19 May 2008

Champions League Final & Why The Grass Was Refrigerated

The UEFA Champions League Final kicks off in just 2 days' time - Wednesday 21 May - and the Manchester Utd and Chelsea players have already flown out there to prepare for what promises to be a great match. As always with major football trophy finals, it will be a colourful spectacle - the thousands of British fans will be sporting their team's colours (Man Utd's red & white, Chelsea's blue & white) and the pitch (installed by British returfing experts Support In Sport) will add a marvellously, contrasting, glorious green to the whole affair.

The condition of the grass will doubtless be superb given the mammoth effort that went into its recent installation - see previous Champions League Final Pitch article.

However, the specialist installation team only began their work after another team had finished theirs - the fleet of 28 refrigerated trucks and their drivers. Photo shows some of the trucks lined up after delivery.

So why refrigerate the grass? We asked one of the SIS experts and apparently freshly cut and rolled turf, such as is used on football pitch installations, can heat up quite easily. This is known in the trade as 'sod heating' and can result in the turf suffering heat stress and dying. Potentially disastrous consequences then if you're talking about a UEFA Final! So to transport the turf any reasonable distance it has to be within a cool, temperature controlled environment - hence the refrigerated trucks. A great example of how an entirely different, unrelated industry can play a key role in sports stadia management.