New Turf Installed For Title Game

No one can say the Rose Bowl Committee didn't go the extra yard to make the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game as good as it could be. That included a new ball yard, more or less.

Alabama and Texas are to play at a higher level than Ohio State and Oregon did in the Rose Bowl on January 1. That's not a slur against the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-10 teams playing in the Granddaddy of Bowl Games. The BCS Championship Game field is literally a bit higher because a new turf was laid over the old field following the Rose Bowl Game.

Because the Rose Bowl game -- including pre-game and post-game festivities, the halftime show, the gallons and gallons of paint, as well as the football game -- took such a toll on the field, immediately following the Rose Bowl work was begun to put a new turf down. And the one Ohio State and Oregon played on had been down for only about three weeks.

West Coast Turf of Palm Desert, California, began harvesting 110,000 square feet of sod the afternoon of the Rose Bowl Game. The turf is over-seeded, sand-based bermuda. It took 50 truckloads to get the sod to the stadium in Pasadena. Because of the short time for preparation, the new sod was put directly on top of the previous surface. The sod was cut 1 1/2 inches thick to make sure it would be heavy enough to stay in place.

A team of over 50 groundskeepers, including some brought in from major league baseball parks, installed the turf beginning the night of January 1 and continuing into the night of January 2.

After that, it was a matter of watering, rolling, sweeping, and mowing the grass at the right times and measurements so that it was at peak condition for Thursday's kickoff.

Three years ago West Coast Turf performed the same procedure for the Fiesta Bowl, which had a BCS Championship Game a few days after the bowl game.

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