March 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FACILITY & OPERATIONS 26 SportsTurf | March 2017 MATT EGGERMAN OPENS THE BALLPARK OF THE PALM BEACHES specifications were followed and begin assembling the maintenance crew for field takeover. SportsTurf: What's the composition of the rootzones on the fields, and did you have some say in that? Eggerman: All fields have a 10-inch, 93-7% blended sand rootzone over 4 inches of gravel and subsurface drainage on 15-20 foot spacing. SportsTurf: Who did build the fields, and what type of grass was chosen? Why was it chosen? Same grass for all fields? Is there any synthetic turf at the complex? Eggerman: Sports Contracting Group was the field contractor for the project and was responsible for all sports fields, artificial fields, and bullpen installations. The teams selected Platinum Paspalum TE for the playing fields. This is the same turf that is used at the Astros' home field, Minute Maid Park. The practice fields were sprigged and the stadium field was sodded with turf from Pikes Creek Turf Farm in Adel, GA. Each team has an artificial agility field just outside their clubhouse SportsTurf: And what was your role, if any, during the S TMA member Matt Eggerman, director of field operations at the brand-new The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, answered questions ahead of West Palm Beach facility's debut last month. The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, with the help and support of Palm Beach County and the City of West Palm Beach, built the two-team facility with a 6,500-seat stadium as its centerpiece. The Astros and Nationals training areas each feature a six-field layout. The 160-acre campus includes a city park featuring basketball courts and a 1.8-mile walking trail available to the community daily. SportsTurf: Were you (or John Turnour, the Nationals' head groundskeeper and/or Dan Bergstrom, the Astros' senior director of field operations) consulted before a field construction company was hired? If so, what kinds of input did you give? Eggerman: Both teams had representatives to consult in the early stages of the project to ensure they had components integrated into the construction plans that would best fit their team's needs. I was brought on board later in the process, while field construction was ongoing, to help ensure that field

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