The Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide will fight for the National Championship on a fresh field at the Rose Bowl Stadium January 7—just 6 days after Ohio State battles it out with Oregon.

The Rose Bowl Stadium already got a new field in early December in preparation for the New Years Day game.  But that field won’t do for the championship game to be played less than a week later at the same place.  Because of the pregame, game, halftime show, and postgame festivities, the field is expected to take a beating.  Not to mention the gallons of paint used for team and corporate logos.  A fresh field is a must—and fast.

Immediately after the conclusion of the Rose Bowl game, Palm Desert, CA, based West Coast Turf (WCT) will bring in 110,000 sq. ft. of overseeded sand based bermudagrass sod.  Because of the very short timeframe for preparation, Rose Bowl Stadium officials decided to “overlay” the field—meaning that the new field will be put down directly on top of the old field.  With no time for the new grass to root, the sod will be cut 1 ½” thick to ensure it will be heavy enough to stay firmly in place.

It will take 50 truckloads of sod, a WCT crew of 24 workers, along with another team of 24 from the Rose Bowl to complete the installation.  Rose Bowl head groundskeeper, Will Schnell, has even enlisted the help of some of the country’s best groundskeepers from MLB to make sure the field is in top playing condition.

WCT will begin harvesting the sod on Friday (1/1) afternoon and continue through the night.  Installation of the sod at the Rose Bowl Stadium will start after the game Friday (1/1) night, and continue uninterrupted for a 24 hour period. For the next 5 days, Schnell and crew will maintain the turf–watering at just the right levels, rolling and sweeping the grass, mowing at exactly the right time and length–so it will hit its peak condition on game day.  They’ll also have the field freshly painted with all of the field lines and numerous logos necessary for college football’s biggest competition.

 “We have been working with the Rose Bowl since the Super Bowl in 1993.  We’ve specializes in sports fields for nearly 20 years, so we’re ready for this situation,” said West Coast Turf spokesperson, Tom Stafford.  “They are perfectionists over there (at the Rose Bowl), and are well known for excellent field conditions.  But this project is extra special for them.  We’ve monitored this sod for months.  Three years ago we used the same ‘overlay’ technique at University of Phoenix Stadium for a similar situation with the Fiesta Bowl game and then the BCS Championship there a few days later.  The guys at the Rose Bowl watched us do that successfully, and we all decided it’d be the right choice for their big game.  We’ve been here before and are confident we’ll have a surface to be proud of come January 7,” Stafford said. 

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