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New ‘disappearing’ pitch for the redeveloped Santiago Bernabèu stadium

When not in use, the turf is moved underground for care & maintenance

Renovation work on Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabèu stadium was completed in time for the home game against Betis at the beginning of September.

The futuristic new stadium claims to be among the most technologically advanced in the world. The exterior is embellished with a series of panels that illuminate at night, giving the stadium the appearance of a spaceship complete with self-propelled roof. The innovation continues inside, where the hybrid grass playing field is able to completely vanish.

When the turf is not in use, a system of retractable trays – which run on rails and lifts – move it to a multi-storey 35-metre deep ‘cave’ beneath the playing surface, where it spends most of its time in a protective, temperature and lighting-controlled environment.

Underground care and maintenance of the field allows the grass to grow as if in the open air, with ventilation, irrigation and fertigation systems, air conditioning, side maintenance walkways, LED lighting, control cameras and a disease prevention system with ultraviolet treatment. 

This retractable lawn system ensures the state-of-the-art stadium is fully multifunctional, with the space able to be used not only for football but also for a host of other sporting occasions and events.

The turf was developed, manufactured, supplied and installed by Italy-based Limonta Sport and Rappo srl – a collaboration that brings together their respective international expertise in artificial turf, natural turf and pitch laying. 

The installation marks the seventh time that Real Madrid has chosen to rely on Limonta’s Mixto® technology – a mix of natural and artificial turf – with the laying of the hybrid turf completed in just three nights.

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