Timbers Beat: PGE Park's new surface coming to life

PORTLAND, Ore.– Now that the rolls of new FieldTurf have been put down and are settled into place, the new state-of-the-art playing surface is finally coming to life as work crews started to insert the specialized infill into the turf today at PGE Park – one of the final stages of the installation project.
 
FieldTurf’s infill is a patented mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber that will be put down in several layers totaling about two inches thick. Crews started the process with large spreaders attached to the back of carts dispensing the individual layers. Starting with the sand, once those elements are sprinkled over the turf, specially designed tractor-like machines with a set of spinning brushes work them down into the base of the new playing surface.
 
Crews will put down roughly 90,000 pounds of infill over the next five to seven days.
 
The completion of this step in the FieldTurf installation is highly dependant upon the weather. Any rainy or wet conditions will slow the process of putting down both the sand and rubber causing the components of the infill to become clumpy or muddy and hard to put down evenly.
 
It was just over four weeks ago that the announcement was made that PGE Park would have a new FieldTurf playing surface installed this season. In a relatively short period of time, crews have worked tireless hours to take out the old surface and replace it with FieldTurf and get to the point of now installing the infill.
 
The days are counting down until PGE Park’s opening event of the 2008 season, the Papé Grand Slam featuring a three-game series between Oregon State and Georgia, beginning Feb. 29.
 
Stay tuned for the final updates and pictures of the installation of PGE Park’s new playing surface.