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BrightView constructs baseball field for MLB games in England

July 2, 2019  - By

BrightView Holdings’ sports turf division, together with its partners, built a baseball field inside the main venue from the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games for the first MLB games played in England at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

On June 29 and 30, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees competed in a two-game American League series.

“People in the U.K. and all over Europe are already going crazy about the games,” said Murray Cook, president of BrightView Sports Turf. “Back in 1993, they had two minor league teams play at the London Oval, but never an MLB team.”

BrightView Sports Turf sent in a crew of more than 100 workers to build a baseball field in just 23 days. With the short turnaround, and having just five days following the MLB series to tear it all down, BrightView decided to forgo using sod, according to the company.

“Sod is extremely expensive, so we decided to look at going with synthetic turf built on top of the concert venue,” Cook said. “It’s sustainable, and we can roll it up after the second game and put it away for next year’s series.”

Not only will the use of synthetic turf prevent the waste of two full fields of sod, but once the two games in London are over, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association will be able to use the field somewhere else or offer it to another team or league, BrightView said.

The ballfield went in first, including the normal, all-natural infield clay, and was followed by additions of dugouts, fencing, padding, the outfield wall, the batter’s eye and more. All the installations were supervised by the BrightView Sports Turf team.

BrightView is the official field consultant to MLB, providing field design and construction for games outside the league’s 30 existing ballparks. Past projects include MLB’s Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., the 2016 Cuba Game, a two-game series in Puerto Rico’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium, a 2017 game honoring America’s Armed Forces at Ft. Bragg, N.C., MLB’s 2019 Mexico Series in Monterrey and MLB’s 2019 season opening series at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

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