I could swear they just did this a few years ago (then again as I get older, everything only seems like a few years ago), but the Green Bay Packers are going to have Lambeau Field re-sodded after the end of the 2006 season. If I remember correctly, to old system was one where within a synthetic mat real grass was grown from seed, the end result being a sod that looked like any other sod once harvested and laid, but was reinforced with the synthetic mat. Apparently with the old sod, there were layers of clay beneath, making the field drain poorly after heavy rains.
For those of us living in the Fox Cities, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The great part about clay soils is they really hold onto the water. The bad part is, they really hold onto the water. How this didn’t don on the turf managers at Lambeau, I’m not really sure. But whatever the case, the new system will be a total replacement of turf, soil, drainage and irrigation systems, requiring removal of about 15-18″ of existing materials.
Good luck doing that in January!
The new system, called DD GrassMaster, is sand-based, meaning water will flow much more freely down into the drain tiles and away from the playing surface. But because sandy soil is not the best thing for players to make cuts on, nor is it the best choice for long-term durability of turf, this system reinforces the turf with eight inches of meshed synthetic fibers through the sand, and the sod laid on top. I couldn’t find any pictures of how this system works, but if regular, farm-grown Kentucky Bluegrass sod is laid on top, my guess is it relies on the sod sending out feeder roots that entertwine with the synthetic fibers to make the whole mass of fibers and sod much stronger.
Judging by the Packers record, it’s a safe bet that work can begin on the new field beginning on 12/22/2006, the morning after their last home game of the regular season.
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