Brett Buchanan, who will succeed Hickman, makes sure the seams of the turf line up correctly. Photo by Lawrence Aylward.

Brett Buchanan, who will succeed Hickman, makes sure the seams of the turf line up correctly. Photo by Lawrence Aylward.

The College Football Championship Game is here. Ever wonder what it takes to make the field look that great? Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots of Director of Stadium Projects Mark Hickman and his crew installing the turf in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The turf is rolled out slowly and carefully, and heavy equipment isn’t permitted on the field.

On a recent Friday morning, the stadium’s retractable roof is open as Hickman and his crew finish laying the field. Hickman is driving a forklift, which he discovered is an excellent tool for moving a section of turf to line it up with another piece so the seams meet. He moves the forklift forward and stops quickly to budge the turf and get it to tighten just right.

“It’s the technique that’s important, not how fast you go or how hard you hit the turf,” Hickman explains.

The seams must be close enough that they look connected. Crew members then topdress the seams by hand with crumb rubber infill so there are no low spots. The infill material is then brushed in with a GreensGroomer synthetic sports turf groomer that lifts the turf fibers and leaves them in a plush, upright position.