21 Aug Grasses in Famous Stadiums- Are You Ready For Some Football?
Grasses in Famous Stadiums- Are You Ready For Some Football?
When watching football teams playing on the gridiron this fall, the ground beneath the feet of the players will most likely be an afterthought. As consumers of sports, we put our attention on our teams and often take for granted the magnificent grass that provides the foundation for each game. Whether a bluegrass or bermudagrass, the type of grass used for football must be durable during the game, able to recover quickly for play the next week, and of course, soft to lessen the impact on the athletes. With all this in mind, you might be wondering what kind of grasses make the cut when it comes to America’s most famous stadiums.
Tifway 419 is an old bermudagrass that has been around since 1960. It is still in use today in many stadiums throughout the country. While it is tried and true, many new bermudagrasses have been introduced to the market in the past 15 years offering improvements over Tifway such as better wear tolerance and better ability to handle extreme temperatures.
One of the new grasses that gives Tifway a run for its money is Celebration® Bermudagrass. Developed in Australia, this bermuda features extreme durability and a more rich, blue color than most other bermudagrasses. The color difference is noticeably visible when both University of Florida and Louisiana State University play football at home. Flipping between channels, it is easy to discern the difference in color between their Celebration fields and other types.
Latitude 36™ Bermudagrass
One of the newest bermudagrasses on the market today is called Latitude 36™. This grass, developed by Oklahoma State University, is a very cold-hardy variety. Latitude 36 is able to withstand an extreme range and the list of stadiums that are choosing to switch to it is increasing rapidly. Latitude 36 can be found in college stadiums across the country: Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Duke, The University of Virginia, The University of Oklahoma, The University of Tennessee, the University of North Carolina and Purdue—and the list just keeps growing!
In the National Football League, another cold tolerant bermudagrass has gained major popularity: NorthBridge™ Bermuda. This grass is used in the stadiums of the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Jacksonville Jaguars. NorthBridge Bermuda is another product of Oklahoma State’s turfgrass breeding team. Oklahoma State’s location in the “transition zone” of the United States makes it the perfect spot for developing grasses that will adapt to unpredictable and frequent weather extremes.
While bermudagrass is known for being a warm season grass type meant to thrive in warm temperatures, bluegrass and ryegrass populate many stadiums in the northern regions of the United States. These grasses handle cold temperatures and snow regularly, but do not transition well when temperatures become extremely hot. Colleges like Notre Dame use bluegrass and ryegrass or a combination of both on the field regularly.
This fall, take a moment to check out the grass growing on the fields of your favorite teams. Based on the geographic location, color, and durability of the field, you may be able to guess the grass type. These grasses aren’t exclusive to college and professional football, of course. Most of these can be purchased for home lawns as well. Just think: your lawn could boast the same grass that your favorite players run on each week.