Installing turf will be difficult in the Big Owe because of the one time costs, lack of sunlight, lack of drainage?? and the wear and tear of more than one game.
The article below describes the pitfalls for installing turf for one game in one night, let alone twelve games.
SkyDome gets auld sod
Fans finally get their long-awaited grass so European pros can strut their stuff
By ERIN POOLEY
Friday, July 30, 2004 - Page A8
The SkyDome fans will finally be getting the green grass they've always wanted -- if only briefly.
Yesterday, more than 50 people worked at a furious clip to put the finishing touches on a 110,000-square-foot grass lawn that was specially grown and trucked in to the Toronto venue for two days of international soccer matches.
It's the first time U.S.-based promoter ChampionsWorld has brought its summer soccer tour to Toronto, and organizers were kicking into high gear yesterday hoping to attract some of Toronto's most avid soccer fans.
"For the tens of thousands of Toronto soccer fans who were enthralled by Euro 2004, this will be the next best thing to being there," said SkyDome executive Silvio D'Addario. "And it will be a wonderful preview of the European soccer season."
Scott Clark, whose New York-based Clark Companies laid its first natural grass surface at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1993, said the SkyDome venue presents a particular challenge because the grass needs to be laid on concrete.
Because the SkyDome uses artificial turf for its professional baseball and football teams, it does not have a proper drainage system.
That means the massive lawn, which will be composted after tomorrow night's game between Italy's AS Roma and Glasgow Celtic, needs to be hand-watered and carefully monitored to prevent wilting.
"One touch of rain and the sod would turn to snot, if you will," Mr. Clark said. "On this concrete it would just be grease. We can't chance any kind of water or the field would be unplayable in a matter of minutes."
Mr. Clark, dubbed the "guru of grass" by event organizers, said a decision to open the SkyDome's roof during the matches will depend on the weather.
In preparation for the event, Princeton, Ont.'s Manderley Turfgrass, a company that also supplies turf grass for golf courses, trucked more than 2,800 rolls of Ontario-grown Kentucky blue grass into the SkyDome late Wednesday night.
Each roll of sod -- almost double the thickness of normal sod -- weighs about 2,000 pounds and is nine to 12 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 3.8 to five centimetres thick.
Mr. Clark said the sheer weight of the soil means it does not have to be anchored to the floor.
Approximately 16 hours of work is required to ensure the grass is "soccer ready" for tonight's kickoff between FC Porto and Liverpool. The total cost for installing the grass was about $500,000, he said.
ChampionsWorld spokesman Jim Trecker said yesterday that the massive effort and cost involved in bringing the natural turf to the SkyDome were undertaken because the players refused to play on an artificial surface.
But for Toronto fans and players who are hoping that the giant lawn might serve as a permanent replacement for the SkyDome's much-maligned artificial turf, organizers say it's unlikely.
Other teams in the 10-day 2004 ChampionsWorld series include Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan and Bayern Munich. The matches will be in seven North American venues.
Laying it on thick
A team of more than 50 people was scheduled to work for 16 hours straight to install the first real grass soccer field in the SkyDome. After the grass has been rolled out and aligned on the concrete floor, the crew is relying on the sheer weight of the sod to hold it in place.
(as of 4 p.m. yesterday)
Wednesday night: Removal of the SkyDome's artificial turf. At a nearby turf farm, crew began cutting the sod and loading it onto trucks.
Yesterday, 6 a.m.: First trucks arrived with sod, installation began
Yesterday, 7 p.m.: All sod was scheduled to be down and in place. A multiple-step treatment process was to start, which included top-dressing the grass, grooming and trimming it, correcting any flaws in the seams, rolling and packing the sod extra flat, mowing it, then cutting aesthetic patterns into it.
Today, 6 a.m.: The field was to have been ready to have the lines painted.
The grass surface
The sod used for the field has a deep base which is a whole inch thicker than normal sod. The cross section below shows its actual dept.
Grass: 3.2 cm.
Dirt base: 4.45 cm.