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Ernst-Abbe sports field, Jena

February 2022

Polytan LigaTurf Cross GT zero on the Ernst Abbe sports field in Jena

A best-practice project for the whole of Germany

The Ernst Abbe sports field has an almost century-long history behind it. Previously, the sports facility in Jena encompassed a football stadium and track and field facility, and was home to the football club FC Carl Zeiss Jena and women’s football club FF USV Jena. In 2020, work began to convert the sports facility into an exclusive football stadium; in future, it will meet the needs of the 2nd Bundesliga and even international competition in the youth division.

The existing western stand will remain in place, and will be joined by three new stands on the northern, eastern and southern sides, providing capacity for up to 15,000 spectators. The core of the new stadium is the new main stand, which includes a functional building. An eye-catching feature is the new membrane facade of the sort previously only seen on the World Cup stadiums in Qatar and the Olympic stadium in Rio. As well as the professional team facilities, the stadium grounds will be home to the youth training centre, providing the optimal conditions to develop future top talent within an area of over 1,500 m².

A secondary field has been fitted with our Liga Turf Cross GT zero, the world’s first 100% CO2-neutral football turf, which meets the highest stands, even when subjected to heavy use. It is based on sustainable, organic PE raw materials, sourced from non-recyclable sugar cane, and is free from rubber granules. By using organic raw materials in production and green electricity in production, we have realized a fully sustainable and climate-friendly artificial turf. Our goal in Jena was to achieve a symbiosis between sustainability and innovation as a “best-practice project” for the whole of Germany.

Liga Turf Cross GT zero not only offers the opportunity to train at the highest level all year round, but also helps the youth training centre to achieve optimal performance in competitive sport with its integrated Polytan SMART performance diagnostics system. In addition, multiple magnetic sensors have been installed under the artificial turf, which measure numerous performance metrics of the athletes using Polytan SMART. Thanks to these scientific analysis tools, users can test and evaluate their sprinting, jumping and agility skills efficiently and precisely.

Within the scope of the opening of the artificial turf pitch in September 2021, a contract was concluded between Polytan GmbH and EAS Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, the company responsible for the Ernst Abbe sports field. For at least the first seven years, we will be on hand with advice and assistance in the care and maintenance of the artificial turf. The concept of “sustainability” explicitly applies to every aspect of this work. As well as the further development of the artificial turf based on practical experience, this collaboration includes the further development of the performance diagnostic tools with the assistance of sports scientists and EAS Betriebsgesellschaft mbH.

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