LAKEWOOD – The BlueClaws are installing a new playing surface at FirstEnergy Park, replacing the field that was first installed in the fall of 2000 and has served the team since their inception.
Any fan that wants a piece of sod (2′ x 4′) can come to the park between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8 and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
Fans are also welcome to come to see the progress of the field throughout the installation. The team’s office hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday – Friday and from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday.
King Sports will supervise the project, which should be completed before Thanksgiving.
“This is a very important process for us to ensure we have the best playing surface possible when we open our second decade in April,” said BlueClaws manager Geoff Brown.
First, the entire irrigation system will be marked to prevent any damage during the process. The irrigation system will not be affected by the new sod.
Once the irrigation system is marked, 90,000 square feet of sod will be stripped out at a depth of three inches. Rootzone mix, the area below the ground surface occupied by plant roots, is then layered across the field and graded with lasers to the field’s original slope.
Next, 1,500 pounds of fertilizer and soil amendments will be placed over the new root zone.
The new sod, from Tuckahoe Turf Farms of Hammonton, who also provides sod for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, is then laid over the newly laser-graded root zone.
When that is complete, the infield and warning track are re-graded to match up with the new sod and a fertilizer is placed across the entire field.
The BlueClaws will provide updates and new pictures on the team’s official website, BlueClaws.com, throughout the process.
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