Your Guide to Investors Group Field

June 2013

A guide to the new home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Investors Group Field

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 47

26 Your Guide to Investors Group Field BOMBERS' TURF GREY CUP PERFECT PASSIONATE FANS OF THE CFL know that some of the best football is played in the worst weather – that is, as long as the field holds up. Blue and Gold fans can rest assured that their team will be able to play home games late into the season as their field can stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it. "We can host games well into November because even though it's cold, you're not damaging the surface," said Kevin Austin, the Bomber's senior director of stadium operations. 'THIS TURF ALLOWS US TO MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SEASON.' "It really works in our climate, that's for sure." Known as FieldTurf Revolution, the new artificial playing surface contains ultraviolet inhibitor technology and features a composition of cryogenically frozen rubber and silica sand that won't split. This allows the field to retain a consistent natural grass-like surface, even in rain or cold conditions. "It's the newest field turf and it's used in many big-time NFL stadiums, college stadiums as well as some stadiums in Canada," said Fraser Hamilton of Stuart Olson Dominion Construction, noting the New England Patriots play on the same surface at Gillette Stadium. Hamilton said the surface can also be manipulated to make it faster or slower, depending on the sport of the day. For soccer, field staff can groom the turf to make the fibres stand up more and slow the surface down. For Blue Bomber football, they can groom it to make the surface a little harder so the players can move faster, he said. FieldTurf Revolution has a multi-layered drainage system that features sand over clean stone and a weeping system over another layer of rock and yet another drainage system that leads to a perimeter drain. On top of that, the field is lower so any water that migrates out of the soil gets pulled away, and any water that comes down, whether rain or snow, gets sucked away immediately. Austin said FieldTurf Revolution makes perfect sense in Winnipeg. "This turf allows us to maintain consistency throughout the entire season and, especially, during late-season games like the Grey Cup," he said. In terms of field maintenance, Austin said it is about a 50-50 mix of three levels of sand and rubber. Staff will likely have to add rubber about three times over the course of the season as they groom, while sand will only have to be replaced once every three to five years. The turf will also offer staff more versatility with designs on the field compared to the old stadium that had lines and numbers stitched right into it. "The new surface is actually blank and 100% green," said Austin, "with every line, logo and number that you see on the field painted right on." The goal posts – made by Sports Field Specialties, who make over half of the goal posts for NFL teams – are easier to remove and replace when other events are held at Investors Group Field.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Your Guide to Investors Group Field - June 2013