Mojo Barriers UK division installed the first Terratrak Plus® pitch protection system of a busy 2018 summer season onto the Leeds United Elland Road pitch for the IBF World Featherweight Title fight, 19th May 2018, keeping the pitch in pristine condition ready for England International football 17 days later.
Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions promoted the IBF World Title Fight, which was witnessed by 30,000 fans in Elland Road stadium who enjoyed local Leeds favourite, Josh Warrington, beating World Champion, Lee Selby, taking the title to the delight of a packed stadium.
Leeds United FC was doubly honoured to host two international level events within the space of two and a half weeks. Elland Road’s Facilities Manager, Mark Broadley, project managed the transformation from a football stadium into a boxing arena and back again, leaving the stadium as if the boxing had never been in.
Mark Broadley explains:
“It’s great that Elland Road was selected to host both World Title Boxing and the last England football friendly before the World Cup. Of course a key consideration was that we had to install all of the boxing production and have temporary seating for six and a half thousand fans on the pitch, whilst still ensuring that seventeen days later it remained in prime condition for the country’s finest footballers.
“Our groundsman and all of the key production suppliers (Mojo Barriers, Arena Seating, Ringcraft Boxing and Prysm) liaised very closely through multiple planning meetings to minimise the time-span for which the pitch had to be covered. It required a very well co-ordinated build and de-rig, incorporating overnight shifts, which they all co-operated on and executed brilliantly.”
First onto the pitch was the Mojo Barriers team early on Thursday morning, installing their Terratrak Plus® stadium flooring system. Project Manager Kevin Thorborn oversaw twenty crew who installed 9,200 sqm of pitch protection, which was well within schedule ready for the other suppliers to come in on the Friday morning and install the ring, canopy and seating.
Director Kevin Thorborn says: “This Terratrak Plus® gave a fully driveable pitch protection that can take loads of up to 100 tonnes. The fact that it is translucent makes it pitch friendly as it lets light through to the grass. The floor tiles are easy to handle, so we deployed a crew of twenty to install and remove the system, which was off the pitch by 1pm on the Sunday following the Saturday evening fight.”
The Mojo crew also installed 70m of Mojo Barriers to create a safe fighters entrance ring walk.
Once the flooring was laid, RIM Scaffolding installed the stage for the Kaiser Chiefs pre fight set, while Prysm installed the roof canopy followed by Ringcraft Boxing who installed the ring.
Arena Seating managing director, Dave Withey, project managed the installation of the 6,500 audience seats, drawn from the company’s stock of 150,000 temporary event seating. Arena’s crew deployed the flat audience seating and inner ringside VIP seats in quick time on the Friday.
Dave Withey comments:
“Being sensitive to the venue or environment that we are asked to work in is a strength of the Arena team. We understood on this project how imperative it was to ensure the pitch remained totally intact as well as the need to get in and out efficiently. As a company we work on a number of the highest profile sporting events and seeing thousands of fans enjoy this closely contested fight from our seats was a source of pride.”
The England football team played on the pitch on June 7th, which evidently suited them as they secured a 2-0 win over Costa Rica.