Nicholas Pearson Associates

Projects /
Saracens Rugby Stadium

Saracens Rugby Football Club have transformed the Barnet Copthall athletics stadium into their new home, the Allianz Stadium, as a rejuvinated multi-purpose sports stadium for Premiership rugby as well as athletics and community sports. The stadium also has the first artificial pitch to be used by a professional Rugby Union club anywhere in the world.

Previously the Barnet Copthall Stadium, was considered dated and in need of investment, which has been delivered through a scheme which has modernised the stadium and enabled it to be shared between professional rugby, and elite athletics and community sports.

The scheme involved the refurbishment of the existing West Stand building, the construction of a new East Stand, and use of demountable stands to increase capacity to 10,000 during rugby matches, a new indoor athletics training facility, a relocated outdoor athletics field events area, and a new conference and events facility (Allianz Park).  The stadium remains home to two athletics clubs, and local schools other clubs will also use the facilities.  

Careful design and examination of environmental effects was required for this major project. Nicholas Pearson Associates were pleased to assist by undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the landscape and ecological work for the proposals, including protected species surveys, landscape and visual impact assessment, and site design.   Located within the Green Belt, ‘very special circumstances’ were required, which our landscape design helped demonstrate, through the ‘greening’ of parts of the site to reduce the built ‘footprint’. We prepared a comprehensive Environmental Statement, and took it through rigorous legal reviews, and helped achieve planning permission for the scheme in 2012. The Allianz Stadium opened with Saracens’ first matches at their new home in early 2013, the first professional rugby union matches played on an artificial pitch.