Case Study: Derby County Football Club – First Heated Concourse in the UK

When Mel Morris brought into Derby County Football Club in May 2014 he not only brought into the club but into the loyal fan base too.  Being a lifelong Rams supporter himself he was conscious of the important contribution that fans provide to a football club.

Pride Park is home to 30,000 fans on match days and the importance of providing a warm and comfortable environment for spectators was paramount to Mr Morris, especially with more and more families attending games and the winter months being so cold.  The heated concourse is thought to be the first one in the UK and has received a very warm welcome from fans with the club receiving some very positive feedback verbally and through social media.  It has been an excellent valuable initiative adding to the enjoyment of a match day experience.

Over the last three years numerous improvements have been made to the club with the most recent being the £1m stadium upgrade which includes a new PA system, a state of the art, UEFA grade lighting system, a new £300,000.00 pitch with under soil heating with a mix of real and artificial grass and a new heating system in the concourses of the North, East and South stands, paid for by Mel Morris himself.

Derby County Spokesman Paul Tyrrell said “We are continuously looking for ways to improve the level of service and quality of the match day experience for our supporters.  Many enhancements have been made to Pride Park recently and our decision to introduce a new heating system in our concourses was a vital element of this upgrade programme.

“The heating system is one of the first to be introduced to stadia in the UK and are we delighted with it. Importantly, our supporters will feel the benefit of it for many seasons to come.” Mr Tyrell added.

Reznor were able to work with Pegasus, to provide the ideal heating solution for Derby FC.

The concourse is open to the pitch, therefore the outside air would constantly infiltrate into the area.  The Reznor Nor-Ray-Vac system was ideal as the system transfers energy by means of electromagnetic waves, hence passes through the air without heating it.  This system heat surfaces rather than the air, meaning an increased efficiency.  Another major benefit to radiant heat is to be able to create an environment without stuffiness.

The Nor-Ray-Vac system was designed and implemented by local contractors Pegasus, and provides blanket heat coverage of the concourse, eliminating any cold spots and has an estimated potential fuel saving of 25% over an equivalent warm air system in this type of environment.

As the concourse is situated underneath the stadium seats, the versatility of the system design meant the flue was able to installed horizontally through the exterior walls. With the installation covering the North, West and Family Stands the total system installed comprised nine LR burners suspended at 6m high and 2 unitary Vision U Tube radiant heaters. The Family Stand and West Stand are situated at either end of the pitch and each are arranged in two temperature zones controlled by Reznor SmartCom3 with just two discharge flue points.  The North Stand has four temperature zones providing flexibility when segregating the stand when the club increases the away fans allocation.

When a Nor-Ray-Vac system is initially designed Reznor consider the following criteria to form the basis of each particular design:


  • Heat loss of the building for the required thermal environment
  • Local climate conditions
  • Type of activity in the building
  • Specific architecture features relating to the structure


Benefits of Radiant Heat / Nor Ray Vac in this environment

  • Radiant tube heaters, mounted overhead, produce infrared radiant heat that is directed downward by a reflector.  The infrared heat passes through the air without heating it and falls on people, floors and equipment below by creating a comfortable all round radiant warmth at low level, without wastefully heating the whole volume of the building or the roof space.
  • Radiant heat warms objects and surfaces, increasing the mean radiant temperature and reducing the body’s loss of heat to its surroundings. In addition by eliminating air movement, convective loss of heat from the body will also be reduced.
  • A rapid response time is ideal to combat changed ambient conditions.


Radiant tube space heating is proven to meet the HVAC challenge posed by the open environment of football stadiums, reducing fuel consumption without affecting comfort levels to deliver sustainable cost savings over the long term.


Installation Summary:

  •  Derby County Football club invested in an Reznor Nor-Ray-Vac continuous radiant tube system
  • Uniform blanket heat coverage minimised any effect of cold spots
  • Highly efficient with rapid heat recovery times
  • Zoning capabilities produces considerable fuel economies and cost reductions
  • Comfortable environmental temperature with approx. 5oC lower air temperature
  • Potential savings of 25% over an equivalent warm air system in this type of environment


Technical Summary:

  • Product: Reznor Nor-Ray-Vac system installed, suspended at 6m
  • Heaters:   burners in two zones and two discharge flue points
  • Controllers:
  • Dimensions –

North stand – Length: 112m, Width: 7.5m

West Stand – Length: 70m, Width: 7.5m

Family Stand – Length: 70m, Width: 7.5m


Project start date:

South stand – start Feb16

North & West stand – start July16

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