Field Notes: Coors Field, Home of the Colorado Rockies

As you're sprucing up your lawn this spring, baseball grounds crews are getting their turf in tiptop shape. Don't miss these great photos, fun facts and insider tips from some of the country's most popular ballparks.
By: Rockies Dot Com

Photo By: Doug Pensinger

Photo By: Doug Pensinger

Photo By: Doug Pensinger

Photo By: Justin Edmonds

Photo By: Doug Pensinger

Photo By: Doug Pensinger

Photo By: Garrett Ellwood

Photo By: Doug Pensinger

Coors Field, Denver

Check out these photos and learn about what goes on behind the scenes at Coors Field. And don't forget to vote for Denver on our "Pin Your Turf" Pinterest board.
Here are some team facts:
-2013 marks the Rockies' 20th anniversary
-The team's new manager is Walt Weiss.
-Coors Field hosted the World Series in 2007.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: What type of grass is used for the field's turf?
A: The turf at Coors Field is a blend of five varieties of dwarf-type Kentucky Bluegrass grown on sand. The sod is grown locally at Graff's Turf Farm in Ft. Morgan, Colo.
Q: How are the turf patterns created?
A: Coors Field is maintained with a traditional mowing pattern. Mowing technique is rotated on a daily basis to help prevent the turf form developing a grain problem which could affect how the ball rolls.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: How many people serve on the grounds crew of Denver's Coors Field?
A: Coors Field has a crew of 12. Roles and specializations vary based on experience. The crew includes a mechanic, irrigation technician, equipment operator and a chemical applicator. In maintaining the field, almost every task is specialized. For example, in maintaining the pitcher’s mound, strict accuracy is required in keeping the dimensions within MLB rules. The person maintaining this area has to be skilled in working with the clay to accomplish this particular task.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: What is the general schedule of work that leads up to game day?
A: In preparing for game day, the first task is to check the weather forecast and the team's practice schedule for the day. This provides a rough outlook as to how much water is needed on the field and the pacing needed in getting everything completed before practice time begins or before rain or snow moves in. The entire crew then begins carrying out their specific duties: edging and mowing the field and bullpens; painting foul lines; cleaning and leveling the warning track; preparing the bullpen mounds; preparing the field pitcher's mound; and preparing the infield through a day-long process of watering, nail dragging and leveling the soil. Prep also includes setting up batting practice equipment and breaking down the equipment for the start of the game. After batting practice, the crew allows 20 to 30 minutes to give the field a final grooming, putting in the foul lines and watering the infield for the start of the game.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: How is the field surface constructed, and are there special or "hidden" features to help manage irrigation or maintenance?
A: The field uses an essentially gravity-based drainage system. The turf is installed on top of a 10-inch sand and peat moss root-zone layer. Below this is a specifically sized four-inch gravel layer with drain pipe spaced every 15 feet to allow the rain and irrigation water to drain from the surface. Coors Field has an electric field warming system 10 inches below the surface. This allows the crew to bring the field out of winter dormancy more quickly to accommodate early games in late March and early April.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: How often is the grass on the field mowed during the season?
A: The field gets mowed on every game day for consistency of play. When the team is not playing at home, mowing is every third day. The crew generally keeps the field maintained and mowed up until Thanksgiving. The turf is then allowed to go through its natural dormancy through the winter. The crew activates a field warming system in mid-February to begin the process for the coming season.

Coors Field, Denver

A: What kind of soil do you use in the stadium, and where does it come from?
A: The root zone soil is a blended 90-percent modified USGA-specified sand with 10 percent peat moss. It comes from Greely, Colo. The infield soil is a specified mix of sand, silt and clay. Both of those come from Greely, Colo. The pitcher’s mound and batter’s box clay is a specialized mix with a polymer added for stability. It comes from Phoenix. The warning track mix is a special mix of crushed lava from Colorado Springs, Colo.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: What turf heights are used at Coors Field? Are there height differences between infield and outfield?
A: The turf height in the outfield is maintained at 7/8 of an inch and the infield mowing height is maintained at 1-3/8 inches.

Coors Field, Denver

Q: How are lines, logos and other decorations applied to the field? What kinds of paints are used?
A: The Coors Field crew uses a specifically designed latex paint for turf to paint all lines and logos, and an airless paint sprayer to apply the lines. They use the airless paint sprayer and paintbrushes to create special logos such as for Opening Day. For all logos, a stencil is used to lay out the design. Learn more about the Rockies at rockies.com or check out the next ballpark: Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.

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