Nothing beats fall in New England, particularly here in Vermont, where we are lucky enough to experience what is arguably the most impressive fall foliage display in the country. While thousands of leaf-peeping tourists take time off for a seasonal pilgrimage up north, you turf managers are tied to your fields – school’s back in session, fall sports are in full swing, and you’re working overtime to keep those fields safe and playable. While you’re up to your elbows in field paint and fertilizer, it may be easy to overlook how quickly winter is sneaking up on us – as well as the added demands that field winterization brings.

Sports fields certainly saw some weather-related drama last year. Who could forget the collapse of the Metrodome roof and the last-minute scramble to prep the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium as a substitute venue for Monday Night Football. Turf Manager Mike McDonald, his crew and an army of volunteers did a phenomenal job clearing snow with front-end loaders and getting the field game-ready in less than a week. Smart planning and organization certainly aided in Mike’s ability to prep the field under those extreme circumstances. No matter the size of the field, proper winterization strategies can go a long way toward protecting your turf and ensuring a healthy field in the spring. See page 8 of this issue to learn more about winterizing fields.

Also in this issue, we debut our new regular column, Field Notes (page 30), written by Ross Kurcab, turf manager for the Denver Broncos, industry veteran and the world’s first certified sports field manager. Ross’ column will be filling the space formerly occupied by Toma Tales, following George Toma’s retirement. We’d like to wish Ross a warm welcome. We’re grateful to have him on board and look forward to hearing some of his great stories and field care advice!

To help in our ongoing mission to provide you with all of the essential information sports field managers need, we’re soliciting your opinion. We’re conducting a brief online survey to learn more about you and what you would like to see in SportsField Management. You may have already received this survey by e-mail, but if not, links can be found at our website, our Facebook page,, or by scanning the QR code on this page. As I’ve said before, your input is invaluable, so thanks in advance for taking the time to complete this survey.

Katie Meyers