The Minnesota Vikings’ new home, U.S. Bank Stadium, reached another milestone on Tuesday with the Field Turf starting to be installed. It is expected to take three to four weeks for the turf to be finished and a big part of that is the need to add the infill to the turf.
The infill is a mixture of about 30 percent sand and 70 percent rubber pellets that get placed into the Field Turf once it gets laid out. The laying out of the turf does not take long on its own and will likely get finished in a couple days. It is the insertion of the infill that is expected to take the longest.
The infill is arguably the most important part of the field turn because it gives it a bouncy, cushioned feel and helps prevent injuries to players and it is one of the big reasons why Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, believes it is far superior to the turf at the old Metrodome.
Another thing that makes this turf special is the fact that is comes in pieces and all the logos and lines are stitched into the field instead of painted on. That means that it will not only look better, but it will also be easier to change the fields when the stadium will be used for baseball games in the spring.
“The old Metrodome turf was just one big green field and then it had all the logos painted on,” Kelm-Helgen explained. “This, obviously, is different. what you’re seeing here is turf with the white lines, but what’s going to be coming next is actually the sewn-in Vikings logo. The Vikings Norseman head will be in the middle of the field. Those pieces are removable so when we play soccer games or baseball games you can have just an open green turf. But this field is going to be much nicer, much more color, it’s going to have much more vivid colors in it because its actually all sewn into the actual pieces. You can see, in order to play high school and college baseball in the spring in this stadium you’ve got the section over there with the retractable seats. We have a separate piece of turf that has been made to fit that section as well. That will be rolled up and stored when we aren’t playing baseball games, but it will be laid in when spring comes and we host all those baseball games.”
This turf is currently the NFL standard in stadiums and it is expected to last eight to 10 years. There is an eight-year warranty on the turf in case anything goes wrong with it, but it appears they are taking every precaution to protect it.
There is a large, hard-deck turf cover that goes over the field for concerts or other events in order to protect the field. That cover will also be used during the international soccer game that will be hosted at U.S. Bank Stadium on Aug. 3. There will then be grass turf placed on top of the hard cover for games.
This is expected to be the final, visual milestone for the Vikings and their new stadium until the ribbon cutting ceremony on July 22.