5 miles of piping below the dens pitch

There has been a lot of talk about postponements recently with the severe weather. We caught up with Dundee FCs General Manager Jim Thomson to ask about our undersoil heating system and the postponement of the Livingston game in December.

Jim explained -"Our system which is a gas fired hot water system was installed during the summer of 2004 while we were still in administration at a cost of £170,000. We were required to install to meet stricter SPL criteria on pitch heating.

There is about 5 miles of piping lying about 10” below the surface of the pitch. They carry hot water mixed with cold to a desired temperature beneath the pitch and it is returned to the boiler for re heating.

Depending on the reason for use and the current costs of gas, the cost to run the system can vary. At the moment to prevent frost getting into the ground the system needs to be on 24hrs before the cold weather hits at level 1 - £600 per 24 hrs. To take frost out of the ground it will cost around £1,000 for a 24hr period and to melt snow at level 3 – max you are speaking about £1,500 per 24 hrs.In terms of matches I would say that the system has saved at least 10 matches from postponement since it was installed. In terms of continuity of matches for the team it is invaluable and with a reasonable certainty of matches being on it allows all the various components of match day including, staffing, policing, hospitality etc to be planned and ordered with confidence. The consequences if a match goes off are quite steep financially, particularly if the match is rescheduled mid week. A late call off costs even more!"

We also asked Jim why the previous fixture at Livingston was postponed when Livingston have undersoil heating in place - a decision which left a lot of fans unhappy. As far as Jim is aware, on the occasion of the Livi postponement they took a decision not to use the heating.,thanks Jim for letting us know the details