London Stadium 185, the company in charge of managing the stadium at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has acquired four new Toro machines to its arsenal, as the venue permanently reopens to play host to West Ham United FC.
A subsidiary of VINCI Stadium, the operating company welcomed the new Toros in early June when they were delivered, at around the same time as the stadium was officially re-opened.
London Stadium (formerly known as the Olympic Stadium), was temporarily open to the public during the summer of 2015, hosting many major sporting events, for example the Rugby World Cup and the Diamond League Meeting. During this year, the stadium has been transformed into a multi-use venue, becoming the home ground for West Ham United FC and also the new home of the National Competition Centre for athletics in the UK.
Head Groundsman at the stadium, Greg Bolton, says he’s been busy putting his new Toro Reelmaster 3100 mower, Multi Pro 1750 sprayer, ProCore 648 aerator and Workman GTX utility vehicle to good use due to the busy schedule of all the activities going on now and in the future.
Greg and his team of three groundsmen, have to maintain two grass pitches; one being a community pitch with a running track around the outside the stadium, and also the main pitch located inside the stadium.
“When I joined the company it was still a building site and the pitches weren’t able to be seeded until June, after we’d hosted a big AC/DC concert,” says Greg, who joined London Stadium 185 in April this year.
“At the end of July we then hosted the London Anniversary Games, which saw the likes of Usain Bolt training here in preparation for the Rio Olympic Games 2016. And then we had West Ham’s UEFA Europa League qualifying round in August. So there’s been plenty to prepare for!” he adds.
Greg says out of all the machines he has used, the Multi Pro has particularly impressed him. “It’s easy to use, speedy to spray and offers fantastic flexibility. We use it for spraying a multitude of chemicals and there have been no issues with it blocking up”
“The ProCore is also great and a machine that I’ve actually used before in previous roles,” adds Greg, who as a groundsmen has worked at Fulham Football Club’s Craven Cottage and Reading Football Club’s Madejski Stadium. “I’ve used the ProCore at the last three venues I’ve worked at. It’s a simple-to-use machine that’s equally effective for spot areas and the entire pitch.”
“The deputy head groundsman and I chose the new machines. We looked at other brands, but agreed Toro was the best.”
“We’re very happy in our decision, not just because we’ve had great machine performance, but also because of the customer support we’ve experienced. Danny Lake [Toro grounds sales manager at Reesink Turfcare] and the guys in the workshop have been fantastic, with communication and their efficiency in getting back to me being brilliant,” he concludes.
Greg and his team of groundsmen have a huge job ahead of them, being the groundsmen to take care of the pitch that hosts both world class Football and Athletics events, a job which is made both quicker and easier by the help of Toro.