The Birds’ new­est ac­qui­si­tion: 105,000 square feet of grass

Cam­den Yards to have 8-year-old sod re­placed over the next few weeks

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Jon Me­oli jme­oli@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/JonMe­oli

The play­ing sur­face at Cam­den Yards is be­ing re­placed this month, the Orioles an­nounced Thurs­day, mark­ing the first time since 2008 that the grass on the field is be­ing swapped out.

Be­gin­ning Thurs­day and end­ing by Dec. 1, the team said 105,000 square feet of 100 per­cent Ken­tucky blue­grass from Tuck­a­hoe Turf Farms in Ham­mon­ton, N.J., will re­place the ex­ist­ing grass on the field, in the bullpens and in the park’s turf farm.

While eight years is con­sid­ered the long end of the spec­trum for the life span of sta­dium grass, the Orioles haven’t had many prob­lems with the sod at Cam­den Yards.

Man­ager Buck Showal­ter says the team, led by head groundskeeper Ni­cole McFadyen, is able to keep the field in such good shape be­cause the team’s own­er­ship doesn’t al­low money-spin­ning events such as con­certs, foot­ball games or soc­cer matches to be hosted at Cam­den Yards.

The team said the new sod will be shipped on­adozen­trac­tor-trail­ers, with­the net weight of the ship­ment around 400 tons.

In 2013, the team re­placed the syn­thetic warn­ing track with real dirt, but the grass re­mained in­tact through­out that process. Cam­den Yards’ neigh­bor in down­town Bal­ti­more, M&T Bank Sta­dium, also re­cently went through a play­ing sur­face face-lift ear­lier this year.

At the re­quest of Ravens play­ers, the team switched from ar­ti­fi­cial turf to nat­u­ral grass be­fore the 2016 sea­son.

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