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Thread: Dome rips out artificial turf
Dome rips out artificial turf
By Elizabethe Holland
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Workers this week were expected to finish dismantling the state-of-the-art artificial turf installed at the Edward Jones Dome less than a year ago.
That the FieldTurf - thicker, softer and heavier than the AstroTurf the Rams played on in their first 10 seasons in the Dome - would have such a short stay was part of the plan. What wasn't expected was another temporary stretch of FieldTurf for the 2006 season, as the search goes on for a long-term solution.
The Convention and Visitors Commission and the Regional Convention & Sports Complex Authority hoped the temporary turf would be replaced this year with a similar turf - but one that could be removed for other events at the Dome, according to Bruce Sommer, director of America's Center. The FieldTurf could not be divided into pieces and stored, as would be needed to accommodate nonfootball events this year.
But while convertible systems are on the market, Sommers said none are satisfactory yet. So the sports authority will do just as it did in 2005: lease a temporary field from FieldTurf for $168,000 and hope the perfect system - estimated to cost $1 million or more - comes along before the 2007 season, Sommer said.
Meantime, the turf that was so well-received by the Rams has been cut into pieces and its innards - sand and small pieces of recycled rubber - sucked into huge vacuums.
John Gilman, FieldTurf's CEO, said "a variety of people" in the St. Louis area have expressed interest in purchasing the dissected turf, which will be glued together for its new owner. Gilman expects to decide on a new owner in the next week. The only potential buyer he would acknowledge was Vianney High in Kirkwood.
Vianney Principal Larry Keller said he didn't know whether a deal was in the works.
A single, massive piece of FieldTurf isn't a long-term solution for the Dome because it doesn't allow access to utility boxes in the concrete below - access needed for some events, Sommer said.
But the problem with existing convertible systems, he explained, involves seams in the turf. In April, Rams and area officials examined a removable system at the Skydome in Toronto. That turf sits on trays - each 14 feet long and 8 feet wide - that are put into place and removed with a forklift.
The seams "might affect your footing and, obviously, footing is a huge deal," Sommer said. "But we expect that somebody's going to correct that and we'll be able to buy something that's workable next year."
Gilman, of FieldTurf, said he expects his company will come up with an acceptable system before another temporary turf is laid in the Dome.
"They don't need it until sometime in August, so that's why I think we have time to work on some sufficient alternatives," he said.
The temporary turf was brought in to satisfy the city's lease with the Rams. The agreement required that by July 2005, the Dome remain in the top 25 percent of NFL facilities. Had the Dome kept the AstroTurf, the condition would not have been met.
-01-13-2006 #2RamsFan16 Guest
Re: Dome rips out artificial turf
Hopefully they put turf back in that looks like that. I loved that turf.!
-01-13-2006 #3RamJackson39 Guest
Re: Dome rips out artificial turf
I didnt like how it made the dome look. Everything looked darker and it just really didnt feel like Ram football. When they bring it back, I would like to see them add some more color in the endzone or something.
-01-13-2006 #4RamsFan16 Guest
Re: Dome rips out artificial turfOriginally Posted by RamJackson39