The Braves completed the installation of grass on SunTrust Park’s playing field Sunday.
Workers laid approximately 109,000 square feet of sod over the weekend, transforming the surface into a photogenic expanse of green.
A type of grass called “Seashore Paspalum Platinum TE” now covers the field.
The Braves’ grounds crew will nurture the new field leading up to a March 31 exhibition game against the New York Yankees and the April 14 regular-season home opener against the San Diego Padres.
“We will start with water and rest for transplant shock,” Braves field director Ed Mangan said in an email response to questions. “Within the next week, it will be rolled, edged, mowed and fertilized. We’ll then monitor temps and weather for growth and disease control. From there on, it will be pampered and manicured as needed.”
Seashore Paspalum Platinum TE is a popular grass for golf courses and also is used in at least two other MLB stadiums, Houston’s Minute Maid Park and Miami’s Marlins Park. It also was used in the infield at Turner Field in recent seasons.
The Braves replaced Tifway 419 hybrid Bermuda grass in Turner Field’s infield in 2012 in hopes the softer and thicker paspalum would slow down the playing surface a bit for their infielders. The Bermuda grass remained in Turner Field’s outfield, while the grassed areas of foul territory also were switched to paspalum.
The Braves liked the paspalum well enough to use it for the full field at SunTrust Park.
Large rolls of the grass were trucked to the new Cobb County stadium from Bent Oak Sod Farm in Foley, Ala.
The arrival of the sod culminated a long process of creating SunTrust Park’s playing field. Previously installed were 20,600 linear feet of drainage pipe, 14,300 cubic yards of stone backfill, 4,100 linear feet of irrigation pipe and 4,500 cubic yards of root zone sand.