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Author Topic: New Heinz Turf  (Read 3438 times)
Y2Joyce
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« on: Nov 21, 2007 at 22:33 »

Heinz Field will have a new look to it when the Steelers play the Dolphins Monday night.

It will have a whole new field.

The Post-Gazette has learned that the Steelers this weekend will cover their entire field with new sod, placing it over the DD GrassMaster field that is mostly composed of grass. However, that grass has deteriorated as usual into November and it won't be any better after the four WPIAL high school championship games are played at Heinz Field Friday, followed by Pitt vs. South Florida Saturday afternoon.

The current turf won't be replaced but covered up by the new sod, which is heavy enough that it won't have to be tied down. The work will begin after Pitt's game ends.

It's the first time sod will cover the DD GrassMaster that was installed four years ago.

"Our goal is to do everything in our power to provide the best possible conditions for both teams,'' Jimmie Sacco,, director of Heinz Stadium management said in a statement released by the Steelers this afternoon.

"After considering the number of high school, college and pro football games being played at Heinz Field in November, combined with the possibility of inclement weather, we believe this will be the best way to go.

"We will continue to use our regular playing surface in the future, but feel this option will provide for the most enjoyable game day experience for both the players and the fans in the final games of the season."

The sod will stay in place through the rest of the 2007 NFL season.
 
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 21, 2007 at 22:34 »

What Y2J meant to say was, "Tape up yer ankles, bitches."
 
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 21, 2007 at 22:38 »

Tape your bitches...I think I heard that from 'malibu once.
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 21, 2007 at 22:44 »

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Tape your bitches...I think I heard that from 'malibu once.
"I always use taped bitches."

- Otismalibu (most empahtically, like:  really)

 
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 21, 2007 at 22:56 »

Hottest female cast in movie history is the jeopardy answer what is the question?

Otis is ineligible I guess.
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 21, 2007 at 23:00 »

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Hottest female cast in movie history is the jeopardy answer what is the question?

Otis is ineligible I guess.
Who is Uma Thurman?

And, where's the duct tape?
 
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 22, 2007 at 07:00 »

I thought the turf at Heinz had already been replaced once since the stadium opened?

Is that true?  I think Heinz has been open since 2001, and they did the first turf replace around 2003 or so.

I think blaming it on the # of games played there is a copout.  The grass there has always been so far below the standard professional level that they either have the most incompetent turf guys in the business, or the base beneath the turf was simply made incorrectly.

For the cost of returfing the field twice with grass/sod, they probably could've come close to paying for some of that nice new artificial turf.


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« Reply #7 on: Nov 24, 2007 at 08:16 »

Anyone else think they should just out artificial turf down instead during the off-season?
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 24, 2007 at 08:53 »

I don't know.  This is a band-aid, not a solution.  As such, it's now atleast tacit acknowledgement by Rooney that the field is not up to NFL standards.  One step closer to real change.  Whatever that might be.
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 24, 2007 at 17:26 »

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Anyone else think they should just out artificial turf down instead during the off-season?

I personally believe that artificial turf should be outlawed.  However, with the amount of use this field gets, it may be the best option.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 24, 2007 at 19:59 »

No doubt, if by artificial turf you mean the stuff that is basically rebar and concrete with a layer of green outdoor carpet, like you'd put on your porch if you were so inclined.  Which I'm not.

I don't know one thing about the growing season for grass in the 'Burgh, but I'd wager it ends by October if not sooner.  So no matter what kind of natural turf you put in there, it ain't gonna work.  Toss in all the HS games in Nov and the Pitt games all season ... what do we really expect out of natural grass?  Even if it is growing season, all those pieces won't knit together anytime soon.  I mean, they probably put that shit down and spend a few days watering and possibly packing a bit.  Hell, who knows, I'm not a .... grass engineer.   Well, maybe a kind or two, but that's a different story.  Still, new turf w/out a chance to "take" doesn't have a chance.  But it's  probably better than the old mud pitt (that's not a misspelling, that's a pun) you just replaced.

I thought that Fieldturf stuff was supposed to be the wave of the future (fewer injuries than the old artificial and better wear than actual turf), why haven't they considered that?

Are there these problems in places like Foxboro, Buffalo or the Meadowlands?  Hell I don't know what they have down there.  But if not, then do those stadiums host as many late season HS and NCAA games?

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« Reply #11 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 00:28 »

Not surprisingly, FieldTurf isn't adverse to mentioning Heinz's field problems on its website.  Look at the news items on the right:

http://fieldturf.com/news/news.cfm

As info, here's what is in other stadiums:

http://www.stadiumsofnfl.com/capacity.htm

Giants Stadium has a few college games and 20 pro games (including preseason), and the existence of FieldTurf there shouldn't be a surprise.  I don't know if Buffalo has ever had natural grass at Wilson Stadium.  The original Heinz Field grass surface came from Cleveland, IIRC, and was even worse than the current one. WiH obviously also remembers the surfin' turf, or whatever that stuff was, from 2001-2.

There was a listing a few years back of stadiums that let HS and college games play on their field.  I'm sure that a grass field in the tundra such as Lambeau isn't one of them.

Of course, the Steelers already have FieldTurf in their practice facility and play on it occasionally (Paul Brown Stadium, et al), so they can always take a player poll as to preference.
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 06:18 »

According to that last website, the following cold-weather teams still have grass installed as well:

Philadelphia
Cleveland
Chicago

(It lists NE as well, but I think Gilette has field turf now.)

I highly doubt all of those fields are in as piss-poor condition as Heinz.  I would either go to Field Turf, or mimic whatever some of these teams are doing.


.WiH.
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 06:31 »

Denver has the same DD Grassmaster field as Pittsburgh.  If you recall their Cincy game last year, they had about 2ft of snow dumped on it a day or two before the game.  Scooped it off, looked as good as summer.  Green Bay just installed DD Grassmaster this past offseason.   It's the traffic, not the climate.

In todays Ed, he says they're now investigating switching to artifical next season.  And sent some people down to WVU to scout out their new generation of Field Turf, Duraspine.  Not sure how necessary that was.  They just played on it last week at Giants Stadium.  And will again when they play NE.  
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 09:53 »

I'm going to take the same stance that I've taken every year when this comes up, that being: As long as the Steelers are winning and people aren't getting hurt, why change? Because it looks nicer? Feh.

I know opposing players bitch endlessly about coming here, and to that I say: Good.

 
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 11:28 »

The issue with the current Grassmaster surface is nothing more that the number of games played on it.  Green Bay's field is starting to look like crap, becasue it is dormant, and it sees one game every two weeks.  Denver doesn't let anyone breathe on that field except for the Bronco's on game day.  The weather in Denver is sunny and close to 50 degrees in early winter (most of the football season - and it was low 70's until last Tuesday) so it gets plenty of sun and water.  In th east it is a completely different story.

My daughter played indoor soccer at an indoor facility that has field turf.  That stuff is a lot softer than natural grass, and is actually cushy when you walk or run on it.  Even if the weather is below freezing, that stuff would still be soft.  I think the rubber pellets are about an inch deep within the "grass" fibers.  Awesome stuff.

I do think football is intended to be played on a natural surface, regardles of the weather.  I like the fact other teams hate playing at Heinz, and it messes with their kickers.  I say don't change it.  It would hold up much much better without all the HS and college games, so there is an easy solution.  
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 13:12 »

The Steelers fired one head Heinz groundskeeper already. It was in the paper. I think his name was Lapinski or something.

The field turf is not cost-prohibitive so the money saving ideas are moot. The Steelers could line the field with three-inch thick layers of straight American cash money and not have to worry.

 
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 15:59 »

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I'm going to take the same stance that I've taken every year when this comes up, that being: As long as the Steelers are winning and people aren't getting hurt, why change? Because it looks nicer? Feh.

I know opposing players bitch endlessly about coming here, and to that I say: Good.
At least for the latest turf, people aren't going down with injury, as far as I can see.

I believe that it was 2002 that Plax caught a ball going OOB on the original turf, and must've taken up a couple five foot divots as he did one of those banana peel routines.  Damn near blew out a hamstring a week before the playoffs.

Agree with Big Virgil that there probably isn't anything wrong with the current turf, and that there is no magic natural grass that Heinz isn't using.  It's just overused.

LOL on the Y2J comment about lining the field with greenbacks; I thought that's what the Rooneys were doing already.
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 16:18 »

our local HS here in Altoona has a practice field that is a hybrid turf and grass. Which some dont understand. Its not a mix. Its a layer of grass. then 2 inches of rubber pellets, then covered again by turf. Some grass does grow through in the summer, but not much. But the turf is VERY VERY VERY soft. I have played a few pick up games on this field. It has good grip, as stated before soft. Doesnt leave brush burns and hold up on cuts and what not.

I dont understand why more NFL teams do not use this. I think i heard its the same shit the Eagles use.

But either way, no surface is going to last very long with 3/4 of football games in western Pa being played on the same field.

I hate to sound like a dick. Fuck the HS kids, there are 300 football fields in PA, let them play else where. And Pitt has money, let them build there own fucken place... Having all these fucken teams play on our field every week makes it kinda seem like were Busch league IMO.
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 16:37 »

Unfortunately it was part of the agreement to have the HS kids play there as part of the publicly financed stadium deal.
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« Reply #20 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 16:38 »

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I hate to sound like a dick. Fuck the HS kids, there are 300 football fields in PA, let them play else where. And Pitt has money, let them build there own fucken place...

That will never, ever, ever, happen. When you have a stadium that was built largely with public money, you can't just piss on the public like that. If they kick the championship games and Pitt out, the public outcry would be deafening.

The Rooney's will never let that happen.

And I still don't see what the big deal is. The Steelers record at Heinz Field speaks for itself, if it's not hurting them, then T.S. for the rest of the league.
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« Reply #21 on: Nov 25, 2007 at 16:53 »

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Unfortunately it was part of the agreement to have the HS kids play there as part of the publicly financed stadium deal.

I was wondering if that was part of the issue.  And it would surely take up public money to build Pitt its own stadium (though for the life of me I can't see how it helps their recruiting or attendance to play at Heinz).

I'm wondering if this doesn't hurt the team in other ways, as in--do we know the number of Steeler injuries that are partially a result of playing on this stuff?

I also believe that football is a grass sport and should be played on such, and I have no problem with mud on uniforms.  But I would have to believe that the surface has some negative impact on us as well as others--and has it caused injuries for other HS kids?
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« Reply #22 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 05:26 »

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I hate to sound like a dick. Fuck the HS kids, there are 300 football fields in PA, let them play else where. And Pitt has money, let them build there own fucken place...

That will never, ever, ever, happen. When you have a stadium that was built largely with public money, you can't just piss on the public like that. If they kick the championship games and Pitt out, the public outcry would be deafening.

The Rooney's will never let that happen.
Im pretty sure the Eagles Stadium was built on public funding, and im almost 90% sure no HS games or college games are played on it. Im pretty Sure PNC was built on Public funding, I dont think HS or college games are played on it are there?

Same with the Melon Arena, The Flyers building.. The soon to be new Pens building....

Let them cry and have a outrage, Maybe someone needs to tell these people, the 15 cent a year tax raise in Pittsburgh that came from the 2 new stadiums, isnt that much, compared to all the money these teams bring into the area, which in turn fuels local economy, which inturn keeps taxes lower.

Just because Johnny Punkass cant play his Single A playoff football game for Jerk Off Area Highschool on a multi million dollar field doesnt mean the field is not providing a service to the community.

Take in some logic on this 2. If people want to out cry, how much money does it cost to put on a game at Jack Off Area High Field, that holds maybe 5 thousand people? No where near as much is it does to fire up and prepare a field that holds 70 some thousand.. which in only MAYBE MAYBE 5 thousand people tops show up to the game. Add on the fact, they have to prepare this field over and over and over during 1 day.

They flush all this money down he drain why? So Johnny Punkass can say one day he played on the great Heinz Field?  Big Whoop...
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« Reply #23 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 07:25 »

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Im pretty sure the Eagles Stadium was built on public funding, and im almost 90% sure no HS games or college games are played on it.
I don't live in Philly so I have no idea about the high school games but I have been to college games at the Linc (Army/Navy and Penn State/Temple.)  

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« Reply #24 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 09:55 »

Seems to me that Philly put in a chunk of money for a heated turf system.  Don't know if it really works for them, whether it would be feasible for Pittsburgh's climate, or whether the multiple HS/Pitt games would wear out the turf anyway, but it's something a little different.
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« Reply #25 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 11:22 »

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Im pretty sure the Eagles Stadium was built on public funding, and im almost 90% sure no HS games or college games are played on it. Im pretty Sure PNC was built on Public funding, I dont think HS or college games are played on it are there?


Temple plays at the linc (they just played Penn State there two weeks ago) and the Army-Navy game has been there the past few years.

Quote
Same with the Melon Arena,


What about the Mellon Arena? That place is used constantly for stuff, including the high school hockey championships and a few college hockey games, not to mention basketball, concerts, etc. etc. etc. What does that have to do with the turf at Heinz Field?


Quote
m pretty Sure PNC was built on Public funding, I dont think HS or college games are played on it are there?


Actually, there are.


And again I ask...what does it matter? Why is having a pretty field so god damn important? If the Steelers are winning (which they are) and people aren't getting hurt (which they aren't) then what is the problem?

 
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« Reply #26 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 11:26 »

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And again I ask...what does it matter? Why is having a pretty field so god damn important? If the Steelers are winning (which they are) and people aren't getting hurt (which they aren't) then what is the problem?
Couldn't agree with you more.  This is my least favorite annual topic of discussion.  I'll care about the field surface when we start losing on it.


Maybe Pitt fans have a point, though.
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« Reply #27 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 12:03 »

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Quote
And again I ask...what does it matter? Why is having a pretty field so god damn important? If the Steelers are winning (which they are) and people aren't getting hurt (which they aren't) then what is the problem?
Couldn't agree with you more.  This is my least favorite annual topic of discussion.  I'll care about the field surface when we start losing on it.


Maybe Pitt fans have a point, though.
Therein lies the rub.

I don't think you'll ever be able to attribute winning or losing, exclusively or even mostly, to the condition of the field, so I don't think that's really a good factor to consider.

I think it really boils down to what "kind" of team is the organization looking to build.  IMO, Pittsburgh has shifted to more speed than brute power.  So, when the field (at least IMO) appears to offset or at least mitigate, one of the team's best offensive assets, that's when I start having a problem with it.

Plus, when a receiver makes a catch on FieldTurf and drags his feet, the ensuing rooster tail of rubber pellets as he goes out of bounds is like...cool...and stuff.  I'd get it just for that regardless of cost.



 
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« Reply #28 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 12:38 »

I think the new turf was a strategic move to distract Ricky Williams.  It's funny that two of the major stories about tonight's game are about Ricky's comeback and the new grass at Heinz.  
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« Reply #29 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 12:45 »

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So, when the field (at least IMO) appears to offset or at least mitigate, one of the team's best offensive assets, that's when I start having a problem with it.

Agreed.

Did we learn nothing from the stretched nets that the 80s Showtime Lakers had hanging in the Fabulous Forum?  
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« Reply #30 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 21:48 »

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Quote
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And again I ask...what does it matter? Why is having a pretty field so god damn important? If the Steelers are winning (which they are) and people aren't getting hurt (which they aren't) then what is the problem?
Couldn't agree with you more.  This is my least favorite annual topic of discussion.  I'll care about the field surface when we start losing on it.


Maybe Pitt fans have a point, though.
Therein lies the rub.

I don't think you'll ever be able to attribute winning or losing, exclusively or even mostly, to the condition of the field, so I don't think that's really a good factor to consider.
 
I think I may have spoken too soon.

Stay tuned.
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« Reply #31 on: Nov 26, 2007 at 22:58 »

Almost.
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« Reply #32 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 00:07 »

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Almost.
*clears throat for awkward silence*
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« Reply #33 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 00:09 »

6-0.
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« Reply #34 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 00:45 »

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I think the new turf was a strategic move to distract Ricky Williams.  It's funny that two of the major stories about tonight's game are about Ricky's comeback and the new grass at Heinz.
Yeah, that's the ticket:  Ricky snuck out last night and smoked the midfield.
 
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« Reply #35 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 06:16 »

I am for grass fields, but I think it is time for the Steelers to install the field turf. That field last night was just a complete embarrassment. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team right? It is time Heinz Field reflects that. The stadium is GREAT, the field absolutely is the worst field to play on in the NFL, bar none. It almost cost us the game last night, sure you can say it didn't. But it damn sure was close to being a loss. It's time.
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« Reply #36 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 07:55 »

My big question is "did they not know it was going to rain"?

Maybe the field needed to be sodded, but I think a chimp would know better than to do it right before a rain storm.
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« Reply #37 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 07:57 »

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My big question is "did they not know it was going to rain"?

Maybe the field needed to be sodded, but I think a chimp would know better than to do it right before a rain storm.
Maybe they need better meteorologists? Either way, Heinz Field needs to be field turf.
« Last Edit: Nov 27, 2007 at 07:57 by vinman3 » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 08:57 »

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My big question is "did they not know it was going to rain"?

Maybe the field needed to be sodded, but I think a chimp would know better than to do it right before a rain storm.
Maybe they need better meteorologists? Either way, Heinz Field needs to be field turf.
After that fiasco, I can't see how they could not replace the field during the off season.

We'll see some sort of field turf in '08
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« Reply #39 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 09:15 »

That was a fucking joke. I thought Hampton was going to need snowshoes just to get to the sideline. Was that game even moderately enjoyable to watch?

Maybe Sunday night they can throw on the broom ball shoes and play on the Pens' ice surface.

I was wondering if they were even going to play the game when I saw the field conditions. Brutal.
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« Reply #40 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 09:42 »

The Patsies were able to change their turf midseason. Why can't the Steelers get it done before Sunday's game? Maybe since there are only 2 home games left, they will just wait. But it absolutely has to be done.
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« Reply #41 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 09:46 »


 
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The Patsies were able to change their turf midseason. Why can't the Steelers get it done before Sunday's game?

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« Reply #42 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 09:46 »

Just read in the PPG....

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The Steelers are investigating artificial surfaces, and they might install one at Heinz Field before the start of the 2008 season. They have been particularly interested in the new surface West Virginia University has this year. WVU installed a new generation of FieldTurf this summer called Duraspine at the cost of $901,152. The Steelers sent some of their people to WVU to take a look at the turf.
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« Reply #43 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 09:58 »

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6-0.
Dude, I love (and prefer) grass as much or moreso than anybody else.  But, taking that approach is clearly being results oriented.  That game was an embarassment and was in the balance simply because of the conditions of the field.  I didn't think it was possible, but it nearly cost them a game against the worst team in the league which could've easily put their playoff lives in jeopardy.  I don't know about anybody else, but I'd be fuming today if they would've been on the short end of the 3-0 stick.

Here's the absolute, undebatable bottom line.  

Pittsburgh needs to either install FieldTurf if they're going to continue to left every Tom, Dick and Harry Highschool and College squad play on the field or[/b] they rip the whole fuckin' thing out in the offseason and install a brand new natural grass/sod system that has the capability to drain like a motherfucker.  Then, treat the field and Stadium like it's Utopia.  Nobody, and I mean, nobody will be allowed to play on it save for the Steelers; along the lines of how the Packers treat Lambeau (as I understand it).  In between their games, they would have to have some sort of motorized cover that can be moved relatively quickly and would keep the field in pristine shape when it's not being played on.

That's it.  Those are their two choices.  And frankly, I'd be fine with either.  Something has to be done.
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« Reply #44 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 11:38 »

as I staggered to my seat last night, set my beer in the cupholder and lifted my head to take in the site of that field, i thought I made a wrong turn and ended up at the western penitentiary to the guard vs. the inmates.

what an embarrassment and even worse is that easily could have cost us a game against a poor opponent.  Its time to make the change, the 6 year grass experiment just aint working.
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« Reply #45 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 13:59 »

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Here's the absolute, undebatable bottom line.  

Pittsburgh needs to either install FieldTurf if they're going to continue to left every Tom, Dick and Harry Highschool and College squad play on the field or[/b] they rip the whole fuckin' thing out in the offseason and install a brand new natural grass/sod system that has the capability to drain like a motherfucker.  Then, treat the field and Stadium like it's Utopia.  Nobody, and I mean, nobody will be allowed to play on it save for the Steelers; along the lines of how the Packers treat Lambeau (as I understand it).  In between their games, they would have to have some sort of motorized cover that can be moved relatively quickly and would keep the field in pristine shape when it's not being played on.

That's it.  Those are their two choices.  And frankly, I'd be fine with either.  Something has to be done.
Choice #2 probably isn't realistic, because as DoctorJohnny mentioned on another board, part of the Steelers' ability to get public funding for the stadium was their concession that they would allow Pitt/High School teams to play on it.

Looks like option #1 or nothing.


Frankly, I don't see why h.s. teams want to play there.  Yeah, it's cool b/c the Steelers play there, but with so many seats, it ends up creating a fairly stagnant environment for the WPIAL championships, because there simply aren't enough people in the stadium to create a good atmosphere.


.WiH.
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« Reply #46 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 21:08 »

The Heinz Field natural surface is (allegedly) supported by a geothermal heating system within which the team has invested millions and millions of bucks for the infrastructure. Pipes, coils, etc underneath the field.

It is one of the main reasons they've tried for so long to sustain this natural grass idea. It is really the biggest reason they cannot just up and make the change to field turf in the middle of the season ala New England in 2006. They can dig up the grass and lay down the synthetic sod but they'd be wasting this super-secret money pit of a heating system.

Hopefully the team comes to their senses and just tears it all out in the offseason. Get something better in there. At the very least the groundskeeper should be packing his bags.  
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« Reply #47 on: Nov 28, 2007 at 12:12 »

Thanks for that Y2J.  Not living in the 'Burgh, ya miss a few things on the way - Didn't know that the turf heaters were installed at Heinz.  Double yuk.
 
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