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New Sod at Lambeau..

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New Sod at Lambeau..

Postby mrblitz » Sat May 12, 2007 8:05 pm

New Sod Being Unrolled At Lambeau

Photo Gallery

Construction Begins

Constructions Begins: Photos

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1. New Sod Being Unrolled At Lambeau

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by Mike Spofford,
posted 05/10/2007

Watch the progress: Lambeau Cam


Lambeau Field's brand new sod is being unrolled Thursday and Friday as another stage of Lambeau's makeover nears completion.

Thirteen refrigerated trucks from a sod farm in New Jersey, each carrying 32 rolls of Kentucky bluegrass sod, are arriving at Lambeau over the next two days to put the top layer on the playing surface that has had new drainage and heating systems installed over the past few months.

Each roll weighs between 1,200 and 1,300 pounds, which calculates to roughly half a million pounds of sod all-tolled.

"The sod looks terrific. It's great to see green in here again," said Allen Johnson, Packers field manager, in reference to the heavy labor that went into preparing Lambeau for this step.

Johnson said once the sod is laid it will need a few weeks to root in the new sand base, which was installed to improve drainage. With better drainage underneath, the "crown" in the middle of the field was reduced from approximately 14 inches to just 5 1/2 inches, Johnson said, because surface runoff isn't as critical.

While the natural surface is rooting, Johnson and his crew will be fertilizing, mowing, thatching and aerating it over the next several weeks, all in preparation for the next major step in July.

That's when the stitching, using man-made fibers, will take place to reinforce the sand base underneath the natural grass. The new surface and underlying reinforcements, known as DD Grassmaster, will help Lambeau Field's footing remain solid late in the season when the grass wears thin or wears away entirely, as it often does between the hashmarks.

"The stitching isn't done to make the grass wear longer," Johnson said. "It's to give stability to the sand when the grass wears out."

The stitches go roughly 8 inches underneath the grass surface and are spaced 3/4 of an inch apart throughout.

"Early in the season, when you have grass rooted into here, it's going to make it stable," Johnson said. "But later in the season, there's not going to be any grass holding anything together in the middle. It wears out, no matter what you do. But all the fibers will keep it stable. You can't move it."


The new surface will be identical to the one the Packers have on Clarke Hinkle Field, which they practiced on into November last season and were able to maintain solid footing when the grass wore out.

Previously, the Packers often needed to re-sod Lambeau Field late in the season to keep the well-worn areas playable. That will no longer be necessary.

"Late in the season, when we used to re-sod, I'd be worried about chunks coming out and it being unsafe," Johnson said. "That used to happen, but now that fear is gone."

The experience with Clarke Hinkle Field prompted the Packers to make the improvement on their game field.

"We don't even walk the practice field after practice to look for holes anymore," Johnson said. "We used to do that. We'd walk the practice field every day after practice to make sure it was safe. If there was a hole, we'd fill it and make it smooth. Now, we don't have to do that."

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Postby dgan » Sat May 12, 2007 10:14 pm

Yup, I'm excited about this. The heaters under the field were revolutionary back in the 60s when they installed it, but obviously have long since been outdated. This new system should keep it thawed, but not kill the grass.

We used to replace the grass between the hashmarks a couple times a year and it would never be rooted, coming apart in chunks...that was awful.
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