EXCLUSIVE: Saracens' new waterless pitch provides environmental and commercial advantages
Saracens' new artificial waterless pitch has brought interest from sports clubs across the country as well as the green community, says club community director Gordon Banks.
Installed last year, the pitch is part of the clubs initiative to own the most sustainable sports stadium in the UK.
The stadium, Allianz Park, boasts a range of measures that have been backed up by certifications and standards including meeting the requirements of the building Regulations 2010 Part L policy.
However, the clubs bespoke pitch is the most talked about initiative, largely because it will reduce the pitches water consumption by 100%. Due to the low maintenance of the pitch, the club is able to host more matches which is economically benfiting the club.
Some of the initiatives carried out at Allianz Park, such as energy-efficient lighting for example, are "no brainers" but the state-of-the-art pitch is going to dramatically improve the sport's environmental status and commercial viability, says Banks.
"This is a real proposition and now you have sporting venues such as the Millenium stadium and Cardiff Arms Park who have come out publicly saying they are looking at artificial pitches.
"The technology we can use for the pitch is at a point which makes it a serious commercial proposition. We've had three other premiership clubs visit here over the past few weeks, specifically coming down to look at the pitch and to find out more about our project".
"Commercially, this makes sense because every big event is a commercial opportunity, but this is also producing a good brand of rugby. Fast, exciting with lots of tries being scored and then you have the environmental aspect and community usage on top of that," adds Banks.
Banks was unable to provide exact figures on how much water is likely to be saved through the pitch compared to a conventional grass pitch but said it would be "significant".
Read the full article 'Levelling the playing field'