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Super Bowl XLIX field retracts into University of Phoenix Stadium

January 30, 2015  - By

uofp-stadium-glendale-turf-super-bowl-xlixUniversity of Phoenix Stadium, host to Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, installed its new natural grass field using the NFL’s only retractable field system.

The field was first used in the indoor stadium for the Jan. 25 Pro Bowl, according to Sports Illustrated, but was shifted back outdoors to get some sun. It was then shuttled back in on Jan. 28, four days before the big game, to prepare for pregame and halftime rehearsals.

The field was grown by Bent Oak Farm in Foley, Ala., marking it the sod farm’s seventh Super Bowl field. This year’s field is a base of 419 bermudagrass overseeded with perennial ryegrass. Learn more about the turf and the man behind the field, Mark Paluch, in our feature, here.

Architects Peter Eisenman and a team from Populous created a tray 40 inches deep that rests on 13 railroad-like tracks and moves through an opening 4.5 feet tall beyond the end zone to the southeast, according to SI.

“A total of 546 steel wheels — 76 of those powered by a one-horsepower motor for a top speed of one-eighth of a mile per hour — help expose the grass to the waiting desert sunshine,” SI states.

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About the Author:

Harms is the Digital Media Content Producer for North Coast Media. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Creative Writing Specialization from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Harms specifically creates content for NCM’s Golfdom, GPS World, Geospatial Solutions and Athletic Turf digital properties including eNewsletters, social media and websites. She can be reached at

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