December 2013

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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Page 35 of 47

F.O.Y. | TD Ameritrade Park Omaha LSU takes the field during the College World Se- ries practice and media day. Top: THE OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS of the UFL called our field home for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. ST: How do you balance your work and personal time? Blank: During an event such as the CWS, there is not much of a balance. My wife and kids actually move back to Wisconsin for those two weeks in June. For Creighton games and other events that we host, I am fortunate to be able to have my family come down and spend time with me during the events themselves. Bottom: FLOODING OF HOCKEY RINK in prepara- tions for the Mutual of Omaha's Battles on Ice. ST: What changes are you planning to make or have you made to your maintenance plan for 2013, if any? Blank: The biggest change we made was the addition of a continuous seeding program. We slit seeded the entire field with Kentucky Bluegrass three times this season at a rate of about 3.5 lbs./mft2. We also went out twice a week with a broadcast spreader in the areas that would show wear in an effort to always have new turf coming up. ST: Are you yet involved in sustainable management practices? If so, what are you doing? Blank: We perform the more traditional practices such as returning clippings, the application on humus in some of our fertilizers, regular aeration and topdressing, annual soil testing to determine next year's fertilizer requirements, and the use of foliar fertilizer applications to increase the plants uptake while using less as compared to a soil feeding. ST: How do you see your job changing in the future? Blank: I see pressures being put on Turf Managers in general to get more involved with the previously mentioned "sustainable" management practices. I also feel that water use issues will become more and more of a hot topic in the coming years. As far as TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, who knows? It makes me a little nervous for my turf when I think about the kind of events a creative sales staff can come up with but exposure of the ballpark to a greater audience is never a bad thing. n 36 SportsTurf | December 2013

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