Sustainability has been on top of Allianz Arena’s list long before the topic started dominating the global agenda. The Munich based stadium took the first steps towards sustainability in 2018. In 2022, they went next level by integrating 9 LED440 grow lighting units to grow and recover the stadium’s grass playing surface. In this case study we elaborate on the challenges the Allianz Arena grounds team faces maintaining a quality pitch, and how they achieved their goal to maximise energy savings and transition towards sustainability.
The enclosed structure of Allianz Arena, as well as the cold and dark winter months, make it challenging to facilitate high-quality grass growth throughout the year. On average, no more than 46% of natural sunlight reaches the playing surface annually, which is insufficient for optimal grass growth.
In January and February, minimal natural sunlight reaches the pitch, making it hard for the grass to grow and recover. On top of that, the south side of the pitch does not get any sunlight at all due to a permanent shade. To maintain a consistently high-quality playing surface throughout the year, an artificial source of light (and heat) is necessary.
In line with Allianz Arena’s commitment to sustainability goals and responsible stadium management, they were looking for a solution that promotes high-quality grass growth but is also as energy-efficient as possible.
As a first step, together we defined the goals Allianz Arena wants to achieve. The SGL agronomy department then conducted extensive research, and calculated the light and temperature requirements for the desired grass quality, including expected energy savings per year.
An LED performance & efficiency calculation gave insight into possible energy savings, running costs compared to an HPS grow lighting solution, the grass quality that can be achieved with LED and the return on investment.
To achieve the desired grass quality and further empower the transition towards sustainability, Allianz Arena decided to invest in 9 LED440 grow lighting units. With the data-driven LED440’s, the grounds team can maintain a high-quality grass playing surface throughout the year, in the most energy-efficient manner, despite the challenging conditions.
LED technology provides the grounds manager with the unique ability to control light and heat radiation independently. This allows the grounds manager to precisely adjust light and heat based on the grass’s needs, creating optimal conditions for grass growth throughout the year.
With the 9 LED440’s , the grounds team succeeds in maintaining a consistently high-quality playing surface, achieving the desired grass quality, even during the dark and cold winter months.
As the grounds manager has full control over light and heat radiation, the LED440s can be used without infrared when there is sufficient heat. When the smart infrared sensors detect that the temperature is too low, the infrared radiation automatically switches on to create optimal grass growth conditions. This feature enables the grow lighting units to be used without infrared during the summer, resulting in a 40% energy savings during those periods.
The pitch is extremely important to us. We’re here to enable world class football. Without a good pitch, that is simply not possible. With such an enclosed stadium environment as the Allianz Arena and our cold and dark winters, we need grow lighting technology to grow grass all year long.
The integration of the LED lighting units is in line with three important pillars underlying the transition towards responsible pitch management: 1) achieve a minimum of 92% pitch quality throughout the year, 2) reduce energy input and transition towards more sustainable pitch management , and 3) lower pitch maintenance costs. LED technology plays an important role in achieving all three pillars.
Whether you’re looking to increase the quality of the playing surface, want to hit sustainability goals, or want to save money; investing in LED technology can be a well-considered investment.
If you want to know more about LED technology and how your venue can benefit from SGL services, don’t hesitate to plan a free consultancy with one of our expert.
We started with 8 different brands of LED grow lights. In the end, we decided to collaborate with SGL and purchased 10 LED440’s.
With LED technology, we can start the lighting season early and get a head start.