The Spice Girls are set to christen a new £40 million stadium in Holland which makes pioneering use of Teflon to slide a real grass pitch in and out for different events.
The group will open the stadium in March 1998 which will cater for concerts as well as for Arnhem's Dutch premier division football club vitesse. Club chairman Karl Albers had the idea for the stadium when he dropped a box of matches, noting how the tray slid within a warm, purpose-built environment. Friesland architect Sieste de Jong took up the idea, and the result is a real grass pitch set on a concrete plate with multiple Teflon feet. Four hydraulic rams slide the 11,000 tonne pitch under the southern solar-generative facade. The sliding technology for the 26,000- seater stadium was adapted by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research from bridge and shipbuilding, where similarly low- friction Teflon runners are used to transport huge structures. An eec innovation grant added £3 million to national and provincial government grants. Other innovations include heat and cooling systems from ground water and earth energy, while a sliding roof keeps spectators dry.