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.
Sod was put down in the stadium today. One step closer to grass fields: https://t.co/qkAruyom6h pic.twitter.com/b6VktsYEtZ — Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 11, 2016
3. Carolina Green Sod grew the new sod at its farm in Indian Trail, NC.
Carolina Green Sod and Rodd Price sending it to Ravens and UNC Kenan today pic.twitter.com/Utq6998nq3 — Chad Price (@CgcChad) May 11, 2016
4. It took 12 truckloads to haul the sod from North Carolina to Baltimore.
Great progress at @Ravens M&T Bank Stadium! Get a sneak peek of the new surface! https://t.co/zFqn9SkQjW pic.twitter.com/d0QLbNkBdT
— The Motz Group (@TheMotzGroup) May 4, 2016
5. The sod arrived in 42-inch-wide, 100-foot-long bales.
The Ravens finally getting their natural turf field, Tifway sod by Carolina Green, Motz Group installing pic.twitter.com/gYA0GrFPX7 — Kevin Morris (@kmorris_NTEP) May 11, 2016
6. The last time the Ravens had natural turf at M&T was during the 2001-02 season.
@Ravens new natural field install completed today…but will it survive Beyonce concert June 10th? pic.twitter.com/ZYLxhcD7Ji — Kevin Morris (@kmorris_NTEP) May 11, 2016
7. During their first five seasons at M&T, the Ravens played on a grass surface.
Grass replaces turf at M&T Bank Stadium https://t.co/l63igVa2xH pic.twitter.com/ZQRl4yrKYu
— 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