What problems were you experiencing with your pitch before using MLR’s system?
Before we started using MLR rigs to provide grass growth, we had to ensure our maintenance programme was dedicated to producing a strong healthy plant through the summer and autumn when light was at its peak. We then had to encourage the plant back into growth with the use of the undersoil heating in April to try and thicken up the sward for the last few weeks of the football season in Scotland. The programme was simple – we had to produce a grass sward to survive the winter without any light from October until April, resulting in a pitch that would become very thin and bare until natural growth returned in April/ May. This was very costly and results would fluctuate depending on the severity of the winter.
Were the problems you faced influenced by the climatic conditions in Scotland?
Ibrox Stadium is situated in the west coast of Scotland and is one of the darkest environments in which to try and produce a professional playing surface throughout the winter months, so if any stadium needed lighting rigs, Ibrox would be top of the list.
How did you find out about MLR?
When the decision was made to purchase lighting rigs, we looked at all the companies that had been supplying into the British market for a few years. As part of that process, we visited MLR, carried out a comprehensive review into the company’s ability to meet our high criteria, and in the end it was clear that they were able to meet all our requirements.
After you started using MLR’s system, how quickly did you notice any improvement in the playing surface?
The use of the three MLR 100s 1000W rigs was dramatic in that we went from having a pitch that supported only around 40% grass cover, to one that supported 85%-90% grass cover in the depth of winter. The turnaround from what we had to what we now have was way above my expectations.
What is your typical usage of the system?
We start using the rigs around the end of September until the end of October in a limited deployment sequence. From October until March, the rigs are deployed following games and are moved every 42 hours to a new position covering 90% of the pitch in three moves. From the end of March, the rigs are not required due to the superb condition of the paying surface that the MLR rigs help maintain throughout the winter period.
Why is the MLR system so effective?
The MLR 100s is very simple in its construction and design. For example it only takes three men approximately 1.5 hours to bring the three rigs in from the storage area in the car park, reel out the supply cables, and deploy the rigs into the required positions. Simplicity and a product that works incredibly well is the key to MLR’s success.
www.stadia-magazine.com 2011 Showcase
Stefan Cårebro in an interview with Aftonbladet
- "In the beginning we were skeptical to the lighting rig, wondering if it actually was as good as people said, says Stefan Cårebo. I would never have thought it was this good; it’s fantastic, look for yourself!"
- "We’ll have to locate the lawn mower soon, something we didn’t expect, cutting the grass this early of the year."
- "These results are very interesting looking at the debate around artificial turf."
- "The price is high, says Cårebro and adds: But at the same time these results are incredible. It’s growing in mid winter on the fields’ poorest areas where there is hardly any grass."