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Rose Bowl turf: A cut above the rest

January 8, 2013  - By

West Coast Turf’s Tifway 419 field in the Coachella Valley, prior to harvesting for the Rose Bowl.

Rose Bowl

Midway through turf installation at the Rose Bowl.

Rose Bowl

Finished field, ready for play.
PHOTOS: West Coast Turf

Year after year, the turfgrass sod of West Coast Turf in Palm Desert, Calif., is chosen for such high-profile arenas as Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Coliseum in Oakland, Candlestick Park and AT&T Park in San Francisco, Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Chase Field in Phoenix, and Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, to name but a few. After supplying eight Super Bowls, they’re the only sod company that might have earned the right to call themselves the “Home of Super Bowl Sod.”

Most recently, West Coast took on the challenge of laying the turf for the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., for the New Year’s Day game between Stanford and Wisconsin. It’s a familiar challenge that they’ve taken on numerous times for the Rose Bowl.

Overseeded Bermuda rye grass (Tifway 419) was grown and harvested at the West Coast Turf’s Coachella Valley location, and delivered by semi-trailers to the Rose Bowl. An estimated 100,000 sq. ft. of turf was harvested to cover the Rose Bowl, and it was delivered and installed in less than 24 hours.

When you take on a project of this size and importance, you want everything to be flawless—from the quality of the turf to its installation. In meeting their high standards of excellence, the size, thickness and weight of the strips of sod for such a prestigious sporting event aren’t your average backyard variety. The turf has to stand up to the weight and physical dexterity of college football players. To meet the challenge, West Coast begins with a thick, 1.5-in. cut that’s 3.5 ft. wide, 35 ft. long and harvested in big rolls. Each big roll weighs about 2,500 lbs.

West Coast Turf grows 3,000 acres of quality turfgrass on four farms in California, and two in Arizona. Approximately 60 percent of the company’s revenue comes from the sale and installation of athletic turf for most of the pro and college football, baseball, and soccer teams across the West.

So, how did the turf stand up during the Rose Bowl game? Very well, thank you. Although Pasadena proved disappointing to Wisconsin fans, Stanford brought home their first Rose Bowl trophy since 1971 with a 20-14 win. The other winner in Pasadena: West Coast Turf.

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Turfgrass Producers International – TPI

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