An organic lawn, solar panels and an environmentally friendly park, this is business man Dale Vince’s project for his football club. The British millionaire and president of Forest Green Rovers (4th division) wants to build the world’s first wooden football pitch by the end of 2020. The infrastructure will be able to hold 5,000 spectators, which could be extended to 10,000 depending on the team’s performances.
A true revolution for the English football club
Their shirts are not the only green aspect of the club. Within Dale Vince’s first year, he decided to grow an organic lawn. No more fertilizers and a brand new drainage system. The grass now grows with cow dung and rain water. He also installed 180 solar panels on the stadium’s roof that produce 1/5 of the electricity used by the club. In 2016, Dale Vince decided he wanted a new stadium. Zaha Hadid Architects’ cabinet, that designed one of the five stadiums for the football world cup in Qatar, won the call for tender. He decided to use wood for the structure as it has a very low carbon footprint, unlike concrete or steel.
A green economy
Beyond just the stadium, Dale Vince, also president of Ecotricity (company specialised in green energies) wants to create a green ecosystem around the stadium. It would be a total of 400 000 square meters and would be part of a large program aiming to re-develop an ecological neighbourhood. The eco-park would be composed of fitness centres, athletics tracks and eco-friendly companies powered by sustainable energies. This project would cost around 115 million euros.
Players and staff go green too!
Nobody is excluded from Dale Vince’s ecological ambitions. No more meat at the club’s canteen, electric cars for the players and no smocking on the stadium’s premises. Such are his requirements. But these measures have not seemed to affect the players’ performances, nor the fans’ happiness, rather proud of their boss. Indeed, Forest Green Rovers were promoted to 4thdivision this year in the 2016-2017 edition. In the long run, Dale Vince’s men hope to join the 2nd division. In the meantime, we hope that the construction of this new eco-friendly stadium will show the path to take for other clubs worldwide in order to build a clean and modern football.