At the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium, artificial is out and natural is in.
Responding to requests from players, the Ravens recently replaced the artificial turf on the stadium’s playing field with natural turf. The Ravens will start playing on the new field in the 2016-17 season.
“Real football should be played on real grass,” says Don Follett, the head groundskeeper at M&T.
Here are seven things you need to know about the new turf at M&T Bank Stadium.
1. The grass is a Bermuda variety known as Tifway 419, the most popular type of sports turf.
It’s been 14 years since the Ravens played home games on natural grass. That changes today as sod is laid pic.twitter.com/UEs4nESln1
— Tim Rutherford (@TimFromABC2) May 10, 2016
2. The new sod at M&T measures 80,000 square feet — about 1.8 acres.
3. Carolina Green Sod grew the new sod at its farm in Indian Trail, NC.
4. It took 12 truckloads to haul the sod from North Carolina to Baltimore.
— The Motz Group (@TheMotzGroup) May 4, 2016
5. The sod arrived in 42-inch-wide, 100-foot-long bales.
6. The last time the Ravens had natural turf at M&T was during the 2001-02 season.
7. During their first five seasons at M&T, the Ravens played on a grass surface.
— WBAL Baltimore News (@wbaltv11) May 10, 2016
See related story: “Artificial turf making a comeback at NFL stadiums, MLB ballparks.”
Top photo: Flickr/Jordan Sangerman