Target Field to get first batch of grass tonight

Target Field turf
This bluegrass, growing at Graff's Turf Farm near Fort Morgan Colorado, will arrive Monday night and be installed as the playing surface at the new Minnesota Twins ballpark, Target Field.
Photo Courtesy of Graff's Turf Farms

The first batch of turf will be delivered and installed at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis this evening, after traveling over 800 miles in refrigerated trucks.

Workers in Fort Morgan, Colorado rolled up about 180,000 square feet of sod this morning to make its way to the new ballpark.

Graff's Turf Farm, a long-time supplier for professional sports teams, provided the grass. The specially-grown sod is a blend of Kentucky Bluegrass seed, chosen for its dark green color, ability to withstand wear, and tolerance to Minnesota's harsh winters and warm summers.

Next year will mark the first time the Twins have played on real grass at home since leaving Metropolitan Stadium at the end of the 1981 season.

The stadiums in Minneapolis, Toronto, and Tampa are the only three Major League Baseball venues with artificial turf.

Dan Kenney, head of the Ballpark Authority which owns Target Field, says construction is a little ahead of schedule and adding the grass field is a major highlight.

Target Field
New development around the area of the new Target Field is slow. While there is relatively new housing in the nearby warehouse district, restaurants and other service businesses haven't been lured by the Twin's new ballpark.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

"When you think back, just two years ago, we had very little structure in place and now, if you look through the Web cam you can see that the infield dirt is already in place and here comes the field," he said. "And really, if you think about it, three acres of grass in the center of downtown Minneapolis is a pretty cool thing to have."

A network of piping six inches under the field will heat the grass in early fall and early spring. The process will create green fields for opening day in 2010.

A drainage system will allow the Twins to play regardless of last-minute rainfall.

The installation of the turf will occur in waves and is expected to be finished later this week. The ballpark is scheduled to be ready for the Twins home opener in spring of 2010.

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