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Synthetically reinforced natural turf installed at Lambeau Field

Case Studies | June 1, 2007 | By:

The playing surface at Lambeau Field—home of the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers—has undergone a facelift this year. The $3 million makeover promises a new football field with the latest technology in natural turf plus the addition of synthetic reinforcement.

DD GrassMaster, a natural grass surface reinforced with man-made fibers developed by Desso DLW Sports Systems, has been installed on top of a completely new drainage and heating system. The new surface andunderlying systems represent the latest developments in field management, according to Packers management.

DD GrassMaster’s advantage mainly is attributed to the sand-based soil, which allows superior drainage and softer, more consistent footing over the previous clay-based field. Because a sand-based root zonehas less stability, the system employs the use of millions of strands of polyethylene and polypropylene materials 8 in. below the surface with 1 in. exposed on the top. This gives the field firm footing and eliminatesclumps of sod tearing from the surface, according to proponents. Furthermore, the claims for the new turf say that even after a full season’s wear late in the year, the footing will remain excellent due to the soil-strengthening synthetic strands.

The first layers will consist of a clay base with drain tile and irrigation piping. The second level consists of 4 in. of gravel with 30-plus miles of tubing for the heating system. The third level is made of 12 in. of sand and the top level consists of the sod with its reinforcing fibers.

After the roots of the natural turf are firmly established, ideally by late July, then the synthetic fibers will be stitched in place.

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