SuperLawn Sunday: How the Pros Maintain a Football Field
The first Sunday in February, a huge chunk of the country will be tuning in to watch SuperBowl LIV, and while the forecast for Central Florida promises a handful of storms, the weather at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami promises to be bright and beautiful. When you think of a football game, what are the first things that come to mind? The helmets, the uniforms, the Budweiser commercials? What about the grass on the field?
When you think about it, the SuperBowl just wouldn’t be the SuperBowl without a bright green field beneath the players’ cleats. But it takes just a little bit more than your average at-home lawn care service to keep a natural grass field looking verdant and bright. Think about it: on top of the average wear-and-tear your lawn gets, a football field has to stand up to hundreds of running, cleated feet each time it’s used. Here’s a quick guide to how the pros maintain some of the world’s biggest sporting fields:
Professional field maintenance takes a lot more communication than you’d expect. A healthy, intact field is important not only for the appearance of the game but also for the safety of the players. Consider this: a player is much more likely to trip and injure themselves on a lawn with patches and holes than one without. A field care specialist’s first priority, therefore, is communicating with teams and their managers to determine the perfect schedule for maintenance. If they time it properly, they’ll have the players on the field when the grass is at least four months old, and they’ll be able to time their scheduled visits at opportune moments in between games and tournaments.
Field maintenance requires frequent mowing. Did you know that NFL teams with natural grass fields often have their fields mown 3 to 5 times a week? The aim is to remove no more than ⅓ of the blade height each time the lawn is mowed. Also, frequent mowing helps eliminate clumps and creates a denser playing surface with little opportunity for tripping or catching cleats on errant patches.
Irrigation can be a tricky task to manage. While the irrigation of the playing field is also largely just a matter of making a tight schedule and sticking to it, the issues arise when weather factors come into play. You’ve seen it in your own backyards: the weather doesn’t care if your sprinklers are scheduled to come on that day! Most pros note that a good rule of thumb is to water the grass deeply just when it starts to wilt. If you water frequently at short intervals, you probably won’t soak the root systems the way you need to.
Did you realize how much work went into maintaining an athletic field before you considered these facts? We didn’t, either! Of course, the first step to proper lawn maintenance - whether it’s a football field or your backyard - is having the right equipment. Our Orlando service parts team is ready to get you set up with the right parts and service to keep your machines running. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 407-260-1292 today.