Specialist acounstic consultant Vanguardia developed the stadium’s state-of-the-art PA system in conjunction with SSE Audio, the integrator, which is central to the stadium’s status as a multi-use venue.

The system, designed and built by speaker specialists JBL, features a staggering 5,500 bespoke loudspeakers with 4,000 inside the stadium bowl and another 1,500 within the concourse and hospitality areas.

The brand-new, cutting-edge system is more powerful and precise than any equivalent set-up you will find anywhere in the world and was developed at JBL’s research and development facility in Los Angeles.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the first stadium to install this new system. The principal speakers are fixed in 18 separate curved-line arrays, sometimes referred to as ‘bananas’, to the steel ‘flying columns’ which connect the lower and upper tension rings of the roof. Each array typically contains eight speaker cabinets with the addition of three sub bass units mounted behind the array to provide the low frequency bass associated with generating the sounds of modern-day music. The sub bass speakers are also carefully designed so that sound is focused down towards the audience with minimal sound escaping to the rear of the cabinets and outside to the local community.

The whole system is controlled through a sophisticated digital network and can be integrated with the stadium lights, giant screens and LED boards to make spectacular sound and visual displays possible.

The PA set-up can also be integrated with touring sound systems brought in for concerts. Very few stadia have this facility. Bands will use their own concert speaker systems by the stage but also plug into the stadium’s system to balance the sound of a rock concert evenly throughout the bowl. This is specifically useful to get sound to the upper tiers.

The PA system is yet another example of an element of the stadium that pushes the technological boundaries to the limit, and it means that spectacular audio-visual shows will be a regular occurrence at N17.

It’s almost impossible to comprehend the sheer scale of the quartet of giant LED displays without stepping foot into the bowl.
They make a huge statement in each of the four corners of the ground and, despite their size, provide an astonishingly clear picture.

The two LED displays located either side of the South Stand are each 29.2 metres wide and 10.97 metres in depth, making them both 320 square metres in total. Their counterparts on either corner of the North Stand are 22.3 metres long and 8.4 metres from top to bottom.

The four displays measure more than 1,000 square metres combined, which is more than all the other digital displays in stadiums in the rest of London put together. They each weigh more than two London buses, yet with their 13HD pixel layout they are able to produce incredible image clarity.

Around the stadium bowl, there is nearly a kilometre of digital ‘ribbon displays’, LED strips that run between the tiers of the North, East and West Stands. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the first stadium in Europe to feature three rows of these striking displays, which are not just used for advertising but play a role in decorating the stadium with Club or event branding as well as displaying exciting in-game effects.

Elsewhere in the ground, there are 1,750 digital displays measuring between 29 and 98 inches, which means that in total the stadium boasts an incredible 3,000 square metres of digital display. These screens are controlled by an IPTV network, which unlike traditional terrestrial, satellite and cable systems means the Club can broadcast different content to different displays in different parts of the stadium. And, of course, everything is digitally integrated with the stadium PA system to provide a truly unrivalled audio-visual package.

In addition to the bowl’s four internal LED Displays, the south-west and south-east facades each have LED Displays fitted to greet supporters and convey important messages as they approach the stadium. Each screen measures 179 square metres.In order to accommodate the stadium’s retractable pitch beneath the South Stand the architectural and engineering teams collaborated on a two-column trussing system that would support the full weight of the stand. It was also required to provide the necessary support to keep the back rows within the building regulations that govern the degree to which a structure can vibrate. If there’s too much vibration, naturally people begin to feel unsafe in their seats.

To add to the engineering challenge, the goal was for these columns to have an architectural presence in their own right. And to achieve this the team began to play with the idea of planting what looked like two enormous steel trees right in the entrance of the South Stand atrium, with extended branches supporting each of the structural steel rakers underneath the seating tier.

At first the engineers didn’t think it would be possible, that the trees wouldn’t be strong enough to take the immense load required of them, but the teams persevered with the concept and together found a way to make the sums add up and showed it could be done.

Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy said: “I think the steel trees in the South Stand were one of the great challenges of this project. We were told it wasn’t going to be possible to effectively hold the whole thing up with two pieces of steel. But we didn’t accept this and it went on for months with the engineers, and finally they cracked it. The results are breathtaking.”

SCX Special Projects takes the architect’s vision and makes it a reality.

We deliver innovative, reliable and safe mechanical handling solutions, designed with a simplicity that belies the engineering complexity of such ground-breaking installations.

SCX Special Projects has earned its reputation through significant engineering innovation. The most high-profile of those is undoubtedly the system to transform Tottenham Hotspur’s new 62,000-seater stadium from Premier League to NFL mode with the world’s first dividing retractable pitch.

The pitch divides into three sections and retracts under the South Stand in less than 25 minutes. In total, over 10,000 tonnes of weight is in motion, more than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

To split the pitch, firstly the whole touchline opens and drops down 1.6 metres to NFL level. Then hydraulic actuators are called into play to separate the pitch into three parts. Finally, electric motors roll the pitch away.
From a technology viewpoint, it is the innovative and intellectual way in which SCX Special Projects combines tried and tested components – such as PLCs, drives, electric motors, HMIs, hydraulics and their associated control systems – that truly takes our solutions to the next level.

Christopher Lee, managing director of Populous EMEA said of the retractable pitch concept, “Ultimately it was a Swiss Army knife idea. You could fold out the different fields that you needed.”
Our work on the Spurs retractable pitch has received global media attention, and we received the following important testimonial from Nick Cooper, Head of Moving Structures at Tottenham Hotspur: “It worked first time exactly how we wanted it to work.”

SCX Special Projects was also responsible for the retractable grow light mechanism at the Spurs stadium. Both engineering projects were completed ahead of schedule and on budget.

With a portfolio that includes two retractable roofs at Wimbledon, the retractable seating for concerts at Wembley Stadium, the removable racetrack at Royal Ascot, and now the Tottenham Hotspur retractable pitch, SCX Special Projects has an unmatched record of delivering large-scale innovative moving structures at world-renowned venues.

The construction and installation process posed significant challenges. The club remained playing at White Hart Lane until the end of the 2016/17 season, more than a year after building works on the new stadium had begun – so there was a lot of careful phasing involved. The North, East and West stands went up first, forming a kind of horseshoe around the old ground. The South Stand followed in the 2017 offseason, at which point work on the interiors began in earnest.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium incorporates many ground-breaking installation projects and features cutting-edge technology throughout the stadium. It stands out as a new global benchmark in stadium design, offering one of the finest spectator experiences in the world with and unrivalled atmosphere on matchdays.

Thanks to the sliding pitch, it becomes the first purpose-built venue for American football outside of the US and will host a minimum of two NFL games per year for the next 10 years as part of a new partnership between the NFL and the Club.

With state-of-the-art audio and visual sustems, the stadium creates a new flagship concert destination for London, attracting the world’s best bands and drawing tens of thousands of visitors to Tottenham each year on non-matchdays.