Sener’s ‘pitch’-perfect Hypogea system


Sener at Coliseum US 2023 Image: Coliseum GSVA

Jorge Vizcaya ‘pitches’ for the natural grass in a stadium which he feels no amount of technology can replace. He enjoys the “deep smell of the freshly cut grass” in a venue.

Jorge Vizcaya is an Architect with the private technology and engineering group Sener in Spain. An ace in the pitch changeover system, he enjoys 17 years of experience in the design and management of high-profile sports facilities globally.

In an exclusive exchange with ‘Coliseum’, Jorge Vizcaya Pérez, Architect, Sener, Spain, speaks at length about Sener feat – the ‘Hypogea’ – an innovative and fully automatic system that can be used to retract and maintain the natural grass playing field of a stadium. He firmly believes that the natural grass in a stadium can also augment the fan experience and adds to the sustainability quotient.


Basque Country (Spain)-based Sener is a private engineering and technology group founded in 1956, which seeks to transform the world by challenging the boundaries of technology. Sener has more than 3,400 professionals on five continents and has become a global leader in the mobility, advanced facilities for data centers, energy, marine and aerospace sectors. Through Sener Renewable Investments, Sener also has ownership stakes in companies working in renewable energy generation.

Maintained Jorge Vizcaya, “At Sener, we love stadia and we love technology too and highly recommend that venues should become multiuse facilities in the real sense of the term which will contribute to the fan experience and will also work in the interests of the venue owners and operators.”

Vizcaya put in that at Sener they believe that a venue should be well-connected, offer best-of-breed facilities to its fans, boast tech bells and whistles but “we are razor-sharp about matters concerning the pitch. The venues should come armed with retractable pitches so that apart from football other activities can also be held in these venues 365 days in a year.”


He said considering the above aspect, Sener came out with the innovative, retractable turf system ‘Hypogea’ which facilitates to expand the uses of stadia.

Vizcaya explained that ‘Hypogea’ quickly, safely and automatically retracts and protects the natural grass in a stadium by means of a set of mechanisms that reposition and move the trays that divide the playing field, so that the space can be used for non-sports events.

He believes that if venue operators/owners employ ‘Hypogea’ system in their facilities “it would help them multiply their business opportunities”.

Swearing by ‘Hypogea’, Vizcaya averred that the LaLiga club Real Madrid CF (Spain) have employed the innovative system ‘Hypogea’ in their home – the historic 81,044-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain – “and Sener’s patent and technology has worked wonders resulting in a spectacular retractable pitch in the iconic venue. We divided the pitch into six steel trays and these trays are used in a set of fully automated bodies from the center of the stadium to a lateral chamber. These lateral chambers equipped with cutting-edge technology helps position the trays and move and restore these trays vertically thus allowing the groundsmen to keep the grass in mint condition.”


Jorge Vizcaya wrapped up by asserting, “The ‘Hypogea’ system is very cost-effective and allows the space available in sports stadiums to be used without harming the sports experience or the quality of the field, turning venues into veritable hubs of activity and opens up floodgates of operational opportunities for venue owners/operators.”

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