Top 5 Reasons to Attend Opening Night- #1: We constructed a new playing surface for 2012

There are hundreds of reasons to attend Opening Night this Friday, April 13th, at Victory Field. Friends, family, a new team on the field; these are too many reasons to count. Just in case you’re still on the fence, we’re counting down the top five reasons to attend Opening Night 2012.

As Super Bowl swept through Indianapolis, Victory Field shone in the spotlight. Hosting the DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl, the usually pristine field was transformed into a massive sand football arena when a 63 foot tall air plane hangar was constructed in the outfield.

Following Super Bowl Sunday, the tent was quickly deconstructed and hauled out through the 11’ x 11’ shop door that it originally came through. With April fast approaching, our Grounds crew worked around the clock to reconstruct the award-winning playing surface. The crew began by removing 700 tons of sand, followed by a layer of gravel and finally the removal of the outfield sod grass. Using a tractor with a rototiller attachment, the old sod was tilled and removed from the field leaving in its wake a dirt outfield. With the grass removed, heavy equipment moved in to make sweeps across the outfield to not only lower the outfield by one inch to accommodate the new thick cut sod but to also make sure the field was level. Laser grade technology ensured that the field was level and the crew began laying the fresh green carpet in the outfield.

The new bundles of sod were rolled out by a tractor that laid each section starting from left field warning track and working their way to right field while simultaneously outlining the infield with layers of specially cut sod. Workers followed behind the tractor to help keep the sections of new grass aligned and trimmed areas to better fit the shape of the field. The process of laying the outfield sod only took a matter of days to complete; starting March 12th, the outfield was beginning to heal in the new grass by March 14th.

Victory Field was last renovated in 2003; similar to buying a car, as the years pass problems ­­begin to arise. The typical lifespan of a field like ours is about 7-10 years, making the timing between the next field renovation and the Celebrity Beach Bowl just about perfect. To complete the field renovation process, 20 tons of infield dirt was trucked in and tilled altogether with the rest of the infield before it was laser graded as one of the final steps in order to bring to you the best playing field for Opening Day.

As part of this week’s #1 reason to attend Opening Night, we have brought to you a time-lapse video of the field renovation process that took place here at Victory Field. Watch in a hyper speed video clip as crews worked over several weeks to get the field ready for Opening Day. Still haven’t got your tickets yet? Hurry before it’s too late! Get your seats now at IndyIndians.com/Tickets or stop in to the Victory Field Box Office.

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