For those in the athletic field management industry, the Super Bowl is more than a game. In the days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, we examine what it takes to get the field in top-notch condition for the big game.
Maybe you’re still planning your Super Bowl Sunday menu, but you can bet the crew at the University of Phoenix Stadium has a lot more on their hands right now! Here’s what you didn’t already know about the field.
- The grass field rolls out of the stadium on an 18.9-million-pound tray, residing outside of the stadium except of football and soccer events. It is the first of its kind in North America.
- The grass field remains outside the stadium in the sun until game day, getting the maximum amount of sunshine and nourishment, eliminating humidity problems inside the stadium, and providing access to the stadium floor for events and staging.
- The site has the stadium situated along a slight northwest to southeast axis for maximum sun exposure for the field in outboard position.
- The roll-out field travels at a speed of 11.5 feet per minute (1/8 mph); it takes about 75 minutes to travel approximately 741 feet.
- The field is 234 feet wide by 403 feet long and 39 inches tall.
- The field tray rests on 13 rail tracks and moves in and out of the stadium on 546 steel wheel assemblies (42 rows).
- The grass is Tifway 419, a bermudagrass hybrid. It was planted by using stolons, or plugs, that provide the best long-term field conditions.
- The tray has a fairly sophisticated irrigation system that works on times and can be customized. The water will drain through a 1-inch-deep mat and several pipes that lead to a main drainpipe underneath the field tray. A few inches of water will remain in the tray while the field is in play to keep the grass moist.
(This list is compiled from facts courtesy of the University of Phoenix Stadium.)