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Club News


19 May 2014

After another successful concert at Portman Road, the groundstaff take centre stage

Work will start on the pitch for the new season on Tuesday after the Club hosted another successful concert with Barry Manilow playing to thousands on Friday night. 

The US singer songwriter legend put on a fantastic show for his fans as Portman Road echoed to the sounds of his greatest hits including Copacabana, Mandy and Can’t Smile Without You before finishing with I Write The Songs.

Town’s stadium manager, Greg Pillinger, oversaw the transformation from football stadium to music venue and was delighted with the operation, telling the Club website: “It went very smoothly and it was a great night as well. Barry had everyone up dancing and it was good to see 10 months of planning come to fruition.      

“It was my first concert as stadium manager although the Club have held many down the years but this one was slightly different in that the stage was right in the centre circle. 

“In previous years, they have been at the Sir Alf Ramsey end but on this occasion, we had the stage in the middle of the pitch and by the time you add in the giant screen on either flank, you are talking penalty box to penalty box. 

“Ben’s [Connell, head groundsman]  main concern was the weight of the stage and the bearing that would have on the pitch. There were a lot of calculations done and surveyors checking this and that. 

“It’s also important for the groundstaff to get access to the pitch as quickly as possible to start preparing for next season, or more the friendly against West Ham on July 16. 

“We are nearly there now. The mowers have been out on the pitch and the last of the stage structure is being taken away so Ben and his team can really get going from tomorrow onwards."  


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