Rod Carew Stadium in Panama continues to make progress. Fields and facilities are being upgraded with some major and minor improvements to host the World Baseball Classic. Regensburg received a new infield and Taiwan will be seeing some new mounds and home plates as well as turf upgrades. Even the training sites are planning improvements in Managua, Santiago, Cartagena . These improvements include field clinics and training for the local staffs which establishes a higher field of play surface for the clubs to train there athletes. Its not a surprise that “better fields make better players”.
After a light morning rain the soil was perfect for laying sod on the National Mall yesterday. The 50 ft long x 4 ft wide fescue/bluegrass rolls of sod went down without a hitch. Probably some of the most beautiful fescue I have ever seen that came out of Tuckahoe sod farms. Shortly after the first few rolls were place on Panel 33 in front of the capital they turned on the big eagle rainbird irrigation heads and they performed wonderfully. The irrigation and drian lines are placed about 4ft deep which is just below the tent stake line.
This day has been a long time coming and it wasn’t without a lot of planning. The sod was laid on an engineered topsoil sand blend which will be a perfect medium for growing the grass and keeping it healthy. The National Parks services and Trust for the national mall were also on hand overseeing the installation process. The first panel which is about 90,000sq ft will be completed today and in another few weeks we will start on panel 29. Congrats to Clark construction there team on making this day finally come to fruition.
After 12 years it looks like Rod Carew stadium in Panama will get a new field. After working with a great crew and staff on this field for many years, Pandeportes and the LOC committee is replacing the field before the 2012 World Baseball Classic qualifier in November.
The WBC is considerd the new Baseball World Cup. The last World Cup was held here 2 years ago. During the last world cup at Rod Carew, we had several rain outs due to pour drainage of the outfield and infield turf areas. The USA vs.Canada Bronze medal game was cancelled and we almost had to cancel the final. With the rainy season ( Oct-Nov) typically dropping an average of 12 to 15 inches of rain each month, a new field with an updated drainage system was badly needed. The old system served its purpose over the years. In fact back in 2003 during the Olympic Qualifier we had similar rains fall but the field was only a few years old and handled the water pretty well.
The work plan is to remove a couple feet of material which includes about 6inches of thatch of 12 year old Bermuda along with a series of geo clothe fabrics. We will be adding a new drainage system, irrigation system, 10″inches of sand for the grass, and the new sod will be zoysia Turfgrass. We used zoysia on the new fields in Aguadulce and Santiago when they were renovated in 2010 for the World Cup. They have performed very well. Along with the new field there will upgrades to the stadium drainage and locker rooms. Thanks again to Gil, Guy, Lenny, Ruben and Lauren for making this happen!