Electric Field HeatingFootball Field HeatingSoccer Pitch HeatingThe History of Undersoil Heating and Field Heating Systems

April 5, 2022

Undersoil heating or under pitch heating has been used in sports for many years and has become an essential part of owning a sports field. It was first installed in the 1950s at Arsenal FC and spread throughout most major league football grounds. Popular and modern methods of undersoil heating include pressurized hot water pipes and electric cable heating. These systems heat the ground from below and improve match day experience by keeping supporters warm and comfortable while watching their favorite teams play.

Before Football Undersoil Heating Systems:

Football clubs have consistently had problems with the weather since games began, but things changed when undersoil heating was invented in the 1960s. Footballers no longer had to endure frosty pitches, and matches could even be played in the snow. Once football teams decided to charge fans to watch their tournaments, they discovered that canceling matches was not viable.

They instead started to discover techniques to retain competitions by preventing the pitch from becoming iced over. (This could include covering the pitch with a temporary layer of soil.) Football clubs found several ways to keep matches on by preventing the pitch from becoming iced over. This could include covering the pitch with a temporary layer of soil.

Undersoil heating gained popularity in the 1970s, although diverse approaches were used. Certain clubs constructed large pipes beneath the lawn to melt the frost and snow. The downside to this approach was that it was time-consuming and not always effective.

Installing a large polythene tent over the Filbert Street field cost Leicester City £5,000 in 1971. The “poly sphere” tent was placed on top of the field and floated above it using blowers. The pitch was kept warm beneath the tent during games and training sessions.

Undersoil Heating Makes Its Debut

Everton may not be known for its trophy collection in the current age of football, but the club is known for being forward-thinking. Goodison Park was, after all, the world’s first-ever purpose-built football stadium. With such a rich history, it should be no surprise that Everton was also the first club in the country to use undersoil heating in the 1950s.

To make room for a new drainage system, Goodison Park had to be re-turfed in 1960. Even though the stadium was equipped with electric heating in 1956 to fend off the cold and frost, the engineers failed to account for how much rain would fall on the field over time.

When it became clear that heating a sports field with electric wires was practical, more and more teams started building their systems. Everton’s city rivals Liverpool didn’t put in an electric system until 1980, while Arsenal placed one up in 1964, Leeds United in 1968, and Everton didn’t bother until 1964.

Guidelines Maintained by the Premier League

Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga soccer clubs in Germany must have soccer pitch undersoil heating installed in their stadiums. When the Olympic Stadium in Munich was completed in 1972, it was one of the first stadiums in the world to use a system like this. But what about England’s Premier League? Do they follow the same guidelines?

Still, there is a lot of uncertainty concerning the Premier League’s regulations in this regard. When it comes to the league’s regulations, they are ambiguous enough to enable teams to avoid installing them if they like.

A playable field is required by the English Football League for each match. Thus each host club must provide frost coverings and undersoil heating.

Undersoil heating or any other kind of protection, such as coverings, must be provided to the reasonable satisfaction of the Premier League board. On the other hand, the board has not specified precisely what an “appropriate system” is.

Premier League games at Ewood Park and Reebok Stadium were postponed in 2006 because of significant ice and temperatures far below freezing. The official for the league highlighted that undersoil heating was a league requirement for all teams. There was no such regulation for the Premier League when the Black pool had to cancel three games in 2010 due to overnight temperatures of minus nine degrees.

After Bournemouth’s elevation into the Premier League in 2015, they decided against expanding the stadium. The team decided that undersoil heating would be preferable to grass-growing mounds since the league’s regulations suggested that owners and managers make their own decisions.


Under soil heating, or field heating systems are a cost effective way to ensure sports teams can play safely all year round, and spots clubs maintain fan attendance. If you would like to learn more about football field heating systems, soccer field heating, or any other type of under pitch or field heating – contact us today! Otherwise find out the cost of under pitch heating with our cost calculator.


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Alecs Field Heating Systems are in great demand as electric field heating becomes a viable option for many organizations. Alecs has provided dozens of fields with heating systems with the motto of "Let's Play Ball All Year!".

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