Crews preparing State Farm Stadium field for Super Bowl LVII
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The countdown is on to the Superbowl, hosted right here in Arizona just a few months from now.
While there’s a lot of preparation underway across the city, the field crews at State Farm Stadium have been focused on making sure every blade of grass is in place for the big day. The unique retractable field was the first of its kind in North America. It only makes sense in Arizona, where our abundant sunshine helps grass grow outside, while the stadium can stay air conditioned for events year-round inside.
The grass grows atop a steel and concrete tray. It takes about an hour to move this nearly 17 million pound field from outdoors to indoors on top of 13 steel tracks. The field is typically moved inside the stadium on the Friday before a Sunday game. The grass itself is a drought-tolerant type of Bermuda, and it’s cared for by a team led by Andy Levy, director of fields for the Cardinals for the past 22 years.
He said this field is like his baby. “It’s an extension of your family, it really is,” Levy said. “It’s living or it’s dying if you don’t take care of it. So, it takes constant care.” Levy said this year’s active monsoon was a gift. “We still had the heat with the monsoon this year too, which was great,” Levy said. “Miserable for everybody else in Arizona, but the grass just jumps out of the ground when we get these hot, humid conditions.”
There are only two teams in the NFL with this kind of technology--the Cardinals and the Raiders. Levy thinks every team in both warm and cold weather cities should consider this. “I’d love to see a day where we have a shared stadium with two of these trays,” he said. “College comes in on Saturday. Field comes out and NFL comes in on Sunday.”
Right now, he said he’s focused on keeping the field looking great for the rest of the Cardinals season while preparing for the monumental task of hosting the Superbowl in just a few months. “It’s a mixture of excitement and anxiety. You try not to consider the gigantic nature of it when you’re going into it,” Levy said. “You’re out here painting the field knowing the entire planet will be scrutinizing you. We try to stay anonymous, we try not to be part of the game. If nobody’s talking about the field, we’ve done our job.”
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