With FC Dallas in the middle of a three-weekend road stretch, there’s no time off for the Toyota Stadium grounds crew. They’ve been focused on changing over the field from the current playing surface, ryegrass, to Bermuda grass while FC Dallas is on the road through July 1st, something they do every year during the FIFA break. The rye grass is a great sports grass but it can’t survive the brutal DFW summer heat.
“When that rye grass fades you’re left with a wear pattern from last fall because Bermuda grass has just been sitting there,” FC Dallas Vice President of Complex Management Tom Jones told me.
The team will play on Bermuda grass the rest of the season before the its back on ryegrass for Winter and Spring 2018.
The grounds crew also stripped the field back to its original sand and is using a sod that has a lower clay content so the field will drain more effectively.
“Over time the sod were using had too much clay content which reduced our ability to drain the field,” Jones said.
The sod the club will use the rest of the season comes from a farm in Bastrop, TX and is “sandier”, featuring a clay content of 3% versus 30% which is what was previously being used.
The crew will also reset the re-assess the pitch grade, using sand to re-grade as necessary.
The old sod has been recycled to a field at far north end of Toyota Stadium. The new field will be ready for use on July 1, 2017 when FC Dallas hosts Toronto FC.
“There’s a lot of abuse on the grass, so to keep that at a professional level,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of work involved and a lot of strategic planning.