Wembley football pitch crowning glory


Wembley stadium with first fully recyclable pitch Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Wembley Stadium (Wembley, England, UK) pitch has been made of five percent polyethylene plastic since midway through last season, and has become the world’s first fully recyclable football pitch.

‘The Standard’ stated that the Wembley turf is completely removed twice a year – during the music concert season in July and December – before being relaid. The turf is grown offsite in the North of England.

The 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London (UK). It opened in 2007 on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 2002 to 2003. The stadium hosts major football matches including the home matches of the England national football team and The Football Association (FA) Cup Final (an annual knockout football competition in men’s domestic English football).

Wembley (UK)-based The Football Association is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

‘The Standard’ further stated that the other stadiums such as the 61,276-capacity Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England, the 68,013-capacity London Stadium in London, England, the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, and a number of smaller venues in Turkey also supplement their pitches with reinforced plastic, to provide players with better footing and minimize the pitch damage from condensed fixture schedules.

The 2024 Coliseum Summit EUROPE was held at the 62,850-capacity voguish Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, UK. The two-day summit was held from March 26th-27th, 2024.

Many are a mixture of polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene and polyethylene. The Football Association (FA) favored use of a single plastic, polyethylene, to aid the recyclability of the Wembley pitch twice a year.

October 2022 saw the part-plastic pitch trialed for the first time when the Lionesses (England women’s national football team) beat the United States (United States women’s national soccer team) 2-1 in a friendly, before it was permanently introduced in the middle of the 2022-2023 seasons.

There are plans for the used plastic, after each pitch removal, to be turned into benches to be stationed at the grassroots football clubs and schools in the London Borough of Brent, as well as further afield.

The FA hopes to place plaques and QR codes on each bench to explain the resonance with the national stadium.

Discussions are also ongoing around the possibility of turning the plastic after pitch removal into coats, goalposts, trophies for the annual FA Grassroots Awards, or the office desks to be used in the Wembley Stadium’s boardroom.

The McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards recognize the work of the football clubs and the volunteers who positively impact young people and communities in Northern Ireland. The awards have been running for over 19 years across the United Kingdom and the general public nominates their grassroots heroes through The Football Association websites. The regional and national winners are then selected by a panel of experts.

The new Wembley Stadium opened in 2007, and its pitch weighs around 800 tonnes.

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