New Crew Stadium continues to come to life, with Columbus Crew SC completing a state-of-the-art sod installation on Thursday.
The club has implemented SubAir Sport technology, which includes hydronic undersoil heating and grow lights to help create one of the most technologically advanced pitch surfaces in MLS. The pitch features Kentucky bluegrass and is 225 feet wide by 360 feet long, as surrounded by 13 feet of synthetic turf on the sidelines and 11 feet of synthetic turf on the end lines.
“In addition to creating a world-class matchday experience for supporters in the stands, it’s vital we provide our players with a world-class experience on the pitch,” Crew SC president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a release. “Given that our style-of-play values possession of the ball, it’s important the playing surface is optimal, something we have been able to accomplish thanks to our award-winning Grounds Crew.
“Having the SubAir Sport technology at our disposal will help the field adapt to any sudden changes in climate, ensuring that the players have a safe and consistent surface. The combination of cutting-edge pitch technology and our top-class Grounds Crew ensures that our new home will have the best pitch in the league.”
New Crew Stadium’s SubAir system allows the pitch to recover faster from adverse weather conditions. It contains 10.66 miles of red PEX piping below the surface for heating, increasing the temperature of the pitch root zone by up to 28 degrees. Further, the SubAir system can drain water from the pitch in three minutes as compared to gravity systems that can require up to 60 minutes.
The defending MLS Cup champions will open New Crew Stadium on June 3 when facing the New England Revolution in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Final. Now, they’ve just got to sit back and watch the grass grow.