We have struggled with the internet here in Beijing therefore the blog is a bit cumbersome. Nevertheless we are Counting down the days before we start the Beijing Olympics and I would have to say that we are going to take it down to the wire. From shipping delays for materials and equipment to the typical last minute rush you have in these projects. All fields are grassed and now its time for the details. As you can see the equipment is a little dated but its getting better. We do have a lengthy list of details to complete but i am sure we will find a way to finish them.
Our Olympic crew is pretty much set. Along with an amazing Competition team at Wukesong we will supplement with Chad Olsen and Erik Frey (who will be speaking Chinese fluently by the time they leave the country). Darrell Lemmer is slated for a tour of duty. Budgie Clark will be giving us a hand as he as been with us in the last 2 Olympics. We have two back ups…. Former Disney Sports Field Manager and current Botetourt County Parks and Rec sports field manager Chad Kropff is no stranger to international travels and Rick Newville from Oklahoma will be pinch-hitting for us pending how the final field renovation push goes. Rick was in Cuba and Athens with us for other Olympic projects.
We did receive a Laser painter for the foul lines which everyone marveled at. The Competition Manager Walter Li took a stroll with the new machine. In perfect Chinese form a couple of the guys started to tinker with it to see how they could make it better.
The practice field is Rivera and the main stadium is a cross between
419 and Rivera. The field struggled through the winter with the Bermuda from shanghai and then it was over seeded with ryegrass for the MLB event. In the end the field was stripped and re-sodded with 419 last month and overseeded with Rivera. Should be an interesting group of fields to manage.
With all of the international work we have rolling I sometimes forget how things are holding up around the homefront. We take care of a few ballparks around the country and the fields are really playing well and looking nice thanks to a great group of Brickman sportsturf employees. Darrell, Kevin, Brandon, Aaron, Zach. This time of year with the fields being heavily used …plus the heavy rains up and down the eastern seaboard we really have had our hands full….of water. Here in maryland we had the rainy-est month ever. In some areas as much as 14 inches.
Rain can cause a lot of groundskeepers headaches that require tarp needs for the field, pressure from team managers and G.M.’S mount – it takes a toll. Managing that type of work stress is something everyone in this industry learns in there own way. When I was running Disney’s wide world of sports complex fields we had one heck of a schedule. It just so happened that the facility is located in the lightning capital of the world. After the first year of 3 feet of rain I figured out there was not much else the crew and I could do. Putting out the big tarp on a few fields at night became just part of the system. The old saying “when in doubt put it out” took on a whole new meaning as we just put it out all summer. The other night I was watching the Nationals / cardinals game and the storms blowing through caused the team to delay the start of the game. Well it was delayed until 10pm then cancelled. There were some breaks here and there in the clouds but it never really let up, obviously a big crowd on hand so they waited it out. I had friends that went and said they had a blast even though the game never started. Goes to show you that sometimes you can only manage what you can control and mother nature is not one of them the stadium ticket gates fall under the same category.
The fields from top to bottom are Camden, York and Charles County. They look great guys