SGL LED grow lighting units recovering the playing surface at Allianz Stadium.
Allianz Stadium, Australia

Why Allianz Stadium went with LED for their stadium pitch.

Goal

Allianz Stadium (also known as Sydney Football Stadium) is a multi-purpose stadium located in New South Wales, Australia. Throughout the year, the stadium hosts a wide range of sporting and entertainment events. To maintain a high quality grass playing surface and guarantee player safety all year long, Allianz Stadium turned to grow lights. LED grow lights, to be precise. Here’s why they chose LED technology and how they benefit from the six LED440 lighting units.

 

Challenges
Maintaining a consistent, high-quality playing surface despite frequent use, lack of recovery time and enclosed stadium structure
Solution
Full control over growing conditions with 6 LED440 grow lighting units
Results
A high-quality, consistent playing surface for all type of sports

Challenges

From NRL to A-League Soccer and Robbie Williams concerts, all sorts of events are held at Allianz Stadium. The extensive use of the stadium pitch – sometimes even two events per day – takes its toll on the quality of the grass. Especially during winter time, when insufficient natural sunlight hits the pitch for the grass to recover in time for the next event. Because the pitch is used for different types of sports, wear and tear is not centralised around specific areas, but user damage occurs all over the pitch.

In addition to the event schedule, the enclosed stadium structure of Allianz Stadium does not allow sufficient natural sunlight to reach the pitch, especially during winter months. With areas of the pitch not getting any sunlight all throughout the year, grow lights are indispensable for photosynthesis to take place and enhance grass recovery, which is necessary if you aspire a high quality grass playing surface.

During fall and winter (March – August), the amount of natural sunlight that reaches the stadium pitch is insufficient to enable grass recovery. The North West side of the pitch remains shaded throughout the year. Thus, an artificial light source is necessary to maintain a high quality grass playing surface all year long.

Allianz Stadium - Australia - Pitch

Solution

With the help of a detailed light transmission analysis, it was determined where – and to what extend – natural sunlight reaches the stadium pitch. On the basis of this analysis, calculations were made on how long extra lighting with grow lights is needed to achieve the desired, high level grass quality.

Traditionally, there are two options when it comes to grow lights: High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Light Emitting Diode (LED). The biggest difference is that with HPS, both light and infrared are emitted simultaneaously. Whereas with LED, light and infrared can be controlled independently, and only switches on when extra heat is needed to create the optimal grass growing conditions. This feature gives the groundsman full control over the growing conditions.

With hot summers and soft winters, heat – or the lack of it – is less of an issue for Allianz Stadium. Therefore, the shaded areas and high wear areas in the stadium need an extra light source, and not so much an extra heat source. The climate in Sydney allows the groundsman to keep the infrared switched off for the majority of the year. This way, the perfect grass growing conditions can be created in the most energy efficient way possible. It makes LED technology the perfect solution for Allianz Stadium.

To face the aforementioned challenges and maintain a consistent, high quality grass playing surface, the management of Allianz Stadium invested in six LED440 lighting units. This enables the grounds team to treat a large part of the playing surface with LED lighting technology at once, creating the perfect grass growth conditions despite the shade caused by the stadium construction.

Close up of the LED440 units at Sydney Football Stadium.

Results

The goal at Allianz Stadium was to maintain a consistent, high quality playing surface for all types of sports that are held at the stadium. LED technology was envisioned to be the solution.

Allianz Stadium had made the considerate decision to maintain an average pitch quality of 80%. With that specific pitch quality, the grounds team can guarantee a safe and playable pitch for all sports, in the most sustainable and economically responsible way possible. Without grow lighting units, pitch quality would drop as low as 50% during winter months. This highlights the necessity of grow lighting technology, LED technology in particular.

Due to  the climate in Sydney, infrared can stay switched off for a large part of the season. During winter months, infrared is only necessary to a small extent. This enables the grounds team to maintain a safe playing surface, while maximizing energy savings.

By using LED grow lighting units, Allianz Stadium can now save up to 37% on energy. It highlights the financial benefit LED technology has over traditional HPS grow lighting systems.

The LED440's on the pitch of Sydney Football Stadium.
A close up of an LED50 fixture at AZ Alkmaar.

Responsible pitch management with LED technology

For Allianz Stadium, enhancing the quality of the pitch inside the stadium and maintaining it all year long, was a big reason to embrace grow lighting technology. Their aim to guarantee a safe playing surface for all different sports that are hosted througout the year in the most sustainable way possible, was crucial in choosing energy efficient LED technology over conventional grow lighting.

This enabled the grounds team to achieve high quality grass growth and maximize energy savings in the process.

Whether you’re looking to increase the quality of your grass pitch, want to reach sustainability goals, or want to save money: integrating LED technology into your pitch management strategy can be a well-considered investment.

If you want to know more about LED technology and how your club can benefit from SGL services, don’t hesitate to request a calculation or learn more about future-proof LED lighting technology.

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