Results tagged ‘ Australia ’

2013 Ballfield renovations around the globe


First and foremost, Congrats to the Boston Red Sox on their 2013 WCS victory as well as my good friend David Mellor and his groundcrew.   It was a great series.

Although the series has just ended field renovations have been underway in numerous places preparing for the 2014 season.  Its a busy year for us with renovations in Lancaster and Tennessee.  Also ongoing new construction in Amsterdam  at the Pioniers new complex and in Australia as they prepare for the ABL season openers next next week.   Not to mention a major renovation at the SCG for the 2014 MLB Opener.  Hoping mother nature is good to  all the contractors.

lancasterWe built the field in Lancaster back in 2005.  It has been used for everything from ice rinks to soccer , football to concerts you name it,  this field has seen it.

lancastor new fieldLancaster was still “looking” OK ,  but after a field sees  8-10 years of high use it needs to be resurfaced because rain water begins to drain more slowly through the profile due to all the organic matter that develops over the years.   The main reason it has performed so well  has been the great turf managers that have taken care of the field.  Anthony DeFao and Josh Viet…Two guys in 10 years.   The field’s successful performance over the years reflects their hard work and dedication. The ODP group has always supported our efforts in in building and managing their fields.

amsterdam hooddorp fieldFinishing touches in Hoofddorp on the Pioniers new sport complex.  The main stadium field is going to be a real gem.   The folks in Amsterdam had a big storm recently and some of the warning track mix washed onto the field.  In an effort to remove the very small gravel they broke out the vacuum cleaners.   That’s commitment!

smokiesThe Tennessee Smokies new natural grass surface is another big upgrade.  This field has also been around for several years and used similar as Lancaster for special events.

SCG topdressedSCG renovation taking shape after a heavy topdressing of the newly installed “cooch” grass ( bermuda).  Although not a pretty photo this looks really good to turf managers.

MLB heads down under for 2014 opener


imageAfter multiple trips and site reviews to Australia we are finally bringing an MLB game down under!   Not only a game but an opening series.  One of the challenges of selecting a site for the games was finding a venue that could be transformed for the event.   After todays media frenzy that can be checked off the box. ( Photo above is looking from center field back to homeplate of the new seating section.)
The Sydney Cricket Grounds ( SCG)  in New South Wales is the spot!   With dimensions of 335 down the lines and 405 to center it meets the requirements and the cricket pitch has a history of playing baseball..even though it was 100 years ago.   Also the natural Bermuda over seeded rye grass that we will play on is common to spring training facilities and the SCG staff manicure it to the 9’s.    With a bit of grade tweaks and fencing design it will be just fine for an MLBfield.
20130613-132310.jpgHaving met with the head curator for the SCG , Tom Parker we came up with a sound strategy for making the pitch work. He has cricket until March 1 and that gives us a couple weeks to flip the field. Afterwards he has a week or so before the AFL league begins.
20130613-132359.jpgWe are making clays locally for the infield and shipping in mound clays.  A complete warning track will be installed along with bullpens, batters eye and backstop.    A lot of work for a couple weeks but the folks the SCG have  lot of experience with multi use venues so everything will be fine.   The venue will also be showcasing a new 170 million dollar grandstand behind homeplate.
The winningest ticket in baseball.  Not only the best venue in the world but the best beer.    Can’t wait to hear MLB’s  thunder down under!

Australia air travel…no worries mate!


My Ausie friends have the travel thing down pat!   Let me explain.   After a day of meetings in Sydney on Thursday,  we had a long travel day planned on friday beginning with a flight from Sydney to Melbourne.  its a 645am departure from one of the busiest airports on the Pacific rim.  Im thinking 4:00 am pick up and at the airport at 430.  Tom says nope see you at 545am..  I was a bit skeptical

545am –  Tom picks me up at hotel in downtown Sydney to drive to airport

6:00am- Arrive at avis to return the rental car

6:05am- enter terminal and go through security screening ( with my belt, shoes, socks…and NO BOARDING PASS)

610am- enter Qantas lounge. Pick up boarding pass and dine on a  breakfast buffet that was outstanding

625am- Walk to gate

630am- take seat (on a full flight)

Flight departs at 645am on time.   Over a course of 1 hour and not even having to rush the experience was amazing!    I really liked the fact they allow anyone to pass security without a boarding pass.  You can bring your friends, have meetings in the airport, family can meet you at the gate etc…

Tom Nicholson and I performed site visits in 4 state capitols on Friday. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane which would have been impossible in the US or other countries.

Traveling around Australia this week reminded me of the air travel we enjoyed before 9/11 changed our countries transportation system.   We live in a safer world because of our security systems which I support but one can only wish we could some day return to a simpler way of flying with  “no worries” .

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