Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by A.J.Anderso » Tue, 22 Jun 1993 19:49:25


 England played Germany at soccer in the Pontiac Silverdome on Saturday in
 the first ever soccer international played indoors. For the game a natural
 turf field was specially installed. Several thousand hexagonal trays of
 natural grass was grown in California and then flown to Detroit where it was
 all put together in the stadium. From the TV pictures the field looked in
 great shape and help up throughout the game, in fact the commentators
 mentioned several times how good the field was.

 Did anyone on the net see or go to the game and what did they think of the
 idea of laying a natural field in an indoor stadium. It was only for one
 game, for the World Cup to be held in the U.S. next year 4 games will be
 played over a period of 10 days. So it will be interesting to see how the
 pitch holds up over a longer period.

 Has there been any comment from the NFL or the Detroit Lions or anyone else
 for that matter on the viability of doing this for NFL games ?  I imagine
 it's a pretty expensive exercise and over an 18 week NFL season the field
 might have to be replaced several times.

 andy

 (P.S. for the record Germany beat England 2 - 1, how sad ;-) )

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Marc Goldm » Tue, 22 Jun 1993 21:41:52

Quote:

> Did anyone on the net see or go to the game and what did they think of the
> idea of laying a natural field in an indoor stadium. It was only for one
> game, for the World Cup to be held in the U.S. next year 4 games will be
> played over a period of 10 days. So it will be interesting to see how the
> pitch holds up over a longer period.

Actually the pitch although being laid for the one US cup game, is going
to be used to play the same number of matches as the World Cup. So they
can see just how it does holdup, a kind of full test run.

The German manager was quoted as saying it was one of the best pitches
he had ever seen.

I thought it was an incredible feat. Very impressive.

Marc

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Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Alan Whitt » Tue, 22 Jun 1993 23:03:18

|>
|> Actually the pitch although being laid for the one US cup game, is going
|> to be used to play the same number of matches as the World Cup. So they
|> can see just how it does holdup, a kind of full test run.
|>
|> The German manager was quoted as saying it was one of the best pitches
|> he had ever seen.
|>
|> I thought it was an incredible feat. Very impressive.

The question that begs to be asked is:

"If they can lay REAL grass and remove it easily in domed stadiums, why
 don't they?"

Cheers,
Alan Whitton
Bleeding Blue, White and Red
--
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
BNR Ottawa (Lab 5 M12)        Disclaimer: "This is only my opinion"

"Security is not a dirty word... Crevice is a dirty word..."

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Ian M. Der » Tue, 22 Jun 1993 23:21:40

I was equally impressed with the indor grass myself.  (I saw some of
the game).  Basically both the MLPA and NFLPA should put their foot
down and force a ban on astroturf.  Of course in cases like the
Superdome and Kingdome, it's impossible to have grass, this should
imply to the cookie cutter stadiums  (VET, Busch, Three Rivers,
Riverfront, Meadowlands etc. ) and inflatable domes.  Both baseball
and football players suffer from numerous knee and foot related
injuries because of astroturf.  If they can't get rid of the Vet and
Riverfront as a whole, they might as well make them grass stadiums.

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Kenneth Bullo » Thu, 24 Jun 1993 22:30:49

John: it's true that no team from a dome stadium has yet won a Superbowl, but
several Superbowl champions have come from stadiums where they don't play
"with the earth under their feet."  The Steelers, Cowboys, and Giants come
to mind.  The Cowboys even have a partial dome--should they go to the "arena
league" too?
 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Tim Vannam » Thu, 24 Jun 1993 23:21:43

Quote:

>    The new Georgia Dome was originally meant to have natural
> grass, but the cost of the sprinkling system, drainage, and botanical
> lighting was a bit too much. There is no free lunch.
>    -JAR

I've heard that grass that can be grown indoors that doesn't require
*** tools to keep it alive is in the not too distant future.  
Apparently, the grass can thrive with a much lower lighting level.

Tim.

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Steve Strau » Fri, 25 Jun 1993 00:35:22


Quote:
>   down and force a ban on astroturf.  Of course in cases like the
>   Superdome and Kingdome, it's impossible to have grass, this should

>   Why, in a day and age in which humanity can set foot on the moon, can't
>   grass fields be installed at the Superdome and Kingdomes?  Just curious.

Because they have opaque roofs.
--
Steve Strauss
uunet!texsun!gdfwc3!kuwait!steves
 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by John Rehli » Fri, 25 Jun 1993 04:07:53

Quote:

>John: it's true that no team from a dome stadium has yet won a Superbowl, but
>several Superbowl champions have come from stadiums where they don't play
>"with the earth under their feet."  The Steelers, Cowboys, and Giants come
>to mind.  The Cowboys even have a partial dome--should they go to the "arena
>league" too?

        My original post was mainly tongue in cheek, but I think that
the idea of putting fan comfort ahead of the quality of a game that is
meant to be played in the elements is detestable. I'd allow Minnesota
a decent arguement for a dome because it's just TOO cold, but not the
others. Some explain the Vikings' 0-4 Super Bowl record as being due
to an advantage in frosty NFC title games vanishing when the action
shifts to the sunbelt for the fan-oriented Super Bowl. Teams that play
in them pamper the players while trying to draw fans. Real fans don't
mind sitting in the weather that their team is playing in. By playing
in the artificial climate, you produce a team that has trouble
adjusting to the elements.
        Astroturf was an invention of the 70's, made of the same
polymers as the polyester disco jumpsuits that also were born in that
era. Good teams can emerge from such stadia, but the injuries that
result are unconscionable. They should have torn the stuff up when
"Welcome Back, Kotter" went off the air. They still should.
        The Cowboys have had on-field temperatures in the 30's at
Irving. That's no dome!
        If the NFL is so concerned with the fans, they should make the
field 94' long, cover it with hardwood, put a basket at both ends,
make the ball round and orange and play 82 games a year.
        -JAR
--
 "How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise."
        -Teiresias, in _Oedipus Rex_
 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Tim Vannam » Sat, 26 Jun 1993 23:04:33


Quote:
> For a stadium that doesn't play baseball,  they could have a tranparent
> dome & have natural grass.  Not too many of those however.

I think they would have the same problem, the glare would diminish the
players' vision when trying to field punts or high/long passes.

Tim.

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Tim Vannam » Sat, 26 Jun 1993 23:06:06

Quote:



> >The astrodome had grass in the beginning,  however, the bball players
> >could not see due to glare through the then clear glass.  They painted
> >the glass & the grass died.

> >I doubt pro football could be played on temporary grass like the
> >world cup is.  In soccor,  people are running but not driving with the
> >turf.  It would not hold up.  If anyone remembers when the Bears replaced
> >the turf with natural grass,  the players were lifting up sod all of the
> >time until the grass really took hold.

> >For a stadium that doesn't play baseball,  they could have a tranparent
> >dome & have natural grass.  Not too many of those however.

> How about getting some of that glass that can be blackened
> electronically?  Somewhat like polarized glass but it is
> activated by a switch.  they could blacken it during games,
> but still allow light when the stadiums not being used.

> Or, couldn't they pull a tarp over the glass during games?

Tarp would be too heavy and cumbersome, the electronically controlled
polarization is a great idea!

Tim.

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Scott Chisho » Sun, 27 Jun 1993 01:36:44

   The Lions wouldn't go for grass while Barry's around. He couldn't move
as fast. You can't take the roof off of the Silverdome for many reasons,
some being: 1) The equipment inside is designed for indoor use and wouldn't
stand up to the elements (i.e. The scoreboard and Jumbotron) 2) Other
events held in the Silverdome need the warmth of an indoor stadium in the
winter. 3)The sun problem mentioned earlier. These are just a few.

   This doesnt mean the idea of grass has no merit. They could leave the
grass in the octagonal containers its in now and move it out to the parking
lot between games (the 'dome lot is HUGE) and replant it in the spring if
this is economically feasible. By the way, did that figure of 2 Mil. for
the grass include development costs. Maybe continued use would be cheaper.

   All the northern domes are there for good reason. Remember the Fogbowl
at Chicago a couple of years ago? Also, it gets *** around here in Nov.,
Dec. I'm glad the Rose Bowl (which we'll go to again this year, sigh) is in
Cal. I wouldnt want to be at Michigan Stadium in January. BRRRRR!!!

   How about coming up with a better Astroturf substance? I know they just
installed a new type of carpet out at Eastern Michigan University and
things have gone well so far. Maybe there are others. The only other
alternative is a sports dedicated version of Skydome in Toronto. We know
how much THAT cost.

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by John Rehli » Sun, 27 Jun 1993 02:47:29

Quote:

>   All the northern domes are there for good reason. Remember the Fogbowl
>at Chicago a couple of years ago? Also, it gets *** around here in Nov.,
>Dec. I'm glad the Rose Bowl (which we'll go to again this year, sigh) is in
>Cal. I wouldnt want to be at Michigan Stadium in January. BRRRRR!!!

        What was the matter with the Fog Bowl? Football is an outdoor
sport. If only one half of a field experienced weather and the teams
didn't switch sides after quarters, then playing in the elements might
be unfair, but it's not. Weather should be part of the game. If it's
miserable, it's miserable for both teams.
        I'm not a Browns fan, but the only games I've ever been to
have been in Cleveland, in December and January. The fans love to
bundle up for the games. They know that if a wide receiver can fall
onto frozen, slushy turf with a rock-hard ball in his gut, then it's
not too much for them to sit under a blanket and eat hot dogs in the
same weather. I'm not condoning the idiots who take their shirts off
at sub-zero games, but just because the temperature drops below
freezing doesn't mean that people cannot function outside.
        Climate can make for real home-field advantage. So can domes,
but I'd rather have an advantage that comes from my team tougher than
the other in withstanding rain, snow, or intense heat than one that
comes from the other team's quarterback unable to communicate.
        I heard a description of the American base at Pearl Harbor
before the attack, and part of the un-preparedness came from the
attitude that Americans from the mainland had when stationed in
tropical paradise- one that favored relaxation over tension. When I
drove into Tampa a few years ago on an 85 degree day in March, I got
the impression that the weather must make it difficult for the
Buccaneers to deal with away games where they face snow. It's not
impossible for a team to succeed out of that climate, but I believe
the Buccaneers won their first outdoor road game in December EVER last
season- in Phoenix. Miami has overcome this in the past, but I have no
idea why a place like Detroit would WANT to lose their climactic
advantage in late-season home games.
        Minnesota- just TOO cold?- I'll grant that. But Seattle? New
Orleans? Houston? Atlanta? This is just an attempt to turn football
into ballet.
        -JAR
--
 "Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice:
  Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice."
        -ageless folk wisdom
 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Scott D. Dav » Sun, 27 Jun 1993 00:22:19

Quote:

>at sub-zero games, but just because the temperature drops below
>freezing doesn't mean that people cannot function outside.
>    Climate can make for real home-field advantage. So can domes,
>but I'd rather have an advantage that comes from my team tougher than
>the other in withstanding rain, snow, or intense heat than one that
>comes from the other team's quarterback unable to communicate.

Noise is a factor no matter where you go.  KC got penalized at
home, in their own outdoor stadium(Arrowhead).

Quote:

>When I
>drove into Tampa a few years ago on an 85 degree day in March, I got
>the impression that the weather must make it difficult for the
>Buccaneers to deal with away games where they face snow.

And tough for some teams in the heat and humidity of Tampa.

Quote:
>but I have no
>idea why a place like Detroit would WANT to lose their climactic
>advantage in late-season home games.
>    Minnesota- just TOO cold?- I'll grant that.

Hmmm....you say that teams shoudl use weather as an advantage, then
say it is too cold in Minnesota.  GB plays outdoors all year, and
they're not too far south of Minneapolis.  

I wish KC would go back to grass.  Nice stadium for the game.
--

(uucp: ...!widener!depot!mccall!scott)  615 McCall Road
(800)255-2762, in Kansas (913)776-4041  Manhattan, KS 66502, USA

 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by Kent Stewa » Sun, 27 Jun 1993 08:03:41


Quote:

>Noise is a factor no matter where you go.  KC got penalized at
>home, in their own outdoor stadium(Arrowhead).

True, but Arrowhead stadium is one of the loudest places I've ever
been in my life!  I went to a Monday Night Football game there when
I was driving cross-country in 1991 (the thrashing of the Bills), and
it was the most insanely psyched sports crowd I've ever seen in
my life!

By contrast, I attended a Seahawks-Raiders game in the Kingdome a couple
of weeks later, and it was nowhere near as intense.  The Kingdome was
almost polite. At Arrowhead I lost my voice for a week. 8^)

I'm a Joe Montana fan, so I was really happy to see him go to a team
with such rabid fan support.  Beats the hell out of Phoenix.

Quote:
>I wish KC would go back to grass.  Nice stadium for the game.

I wish both the stadiums (football and baseball) would switch to grass.
That would instantly make it the premier sports facilities in the nation,
IMO.  The baseball stadium is gorgeous, except for the turf.  And each
complex is optimised for its sport.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,
except for the turf.
 
 
 

Natural Turf in Domed Stadiums

Post by John Rehli » Sun, 27 Jun 1993 10:56:45

Quote:

>>the impression that the weather must make it difficult for the
>>Buccaneers to deal with away games where they face snow.
>And tough for some teams in the heat and humidity of Tampa.

        Yes. Not an argument for domes, though, since they're not
pumped up to intolerable temperatures.
        Also, no matter where you play, you see hot weather early in
the season, so it's not as big a deal to go south as it is to face
winter for the first time.

Quote:
>    Hmmm....you say that teams shoudl use weather as an advantage, then
>say it is too cold in Minnesota.  GB plays outdoors all year, and
>they're not too far south of Minneapolis.  

        While games in the -5 to 30 degree range have their charm,
frostbite and hypothermia don't. Temperature is not just a function of
latitude, as Seattle fans know. I can't access an almanac from my seat
here, but I think that the record low in Minneapolis is quite a bit
below that of Green Bay, due to the lake.
        Even so, there's going to be some point between the Artic
Circle and Joe Robbie Stadium where January games are unreasonable. I
thought that adding the one caveat on Minneapolis would preclude
follow-ups and qualifications. But, alas, no.
        -JAR

--
 "...what are called advanced ideas are really in great part but the latest
 fashion in definition - a more accurate expression, by words in -logy and
 -ism, of sensations which men and women have vaguely grasped for centuries."
        -Thomas Hardy, _Tess of the D'Urbervilles_