New field at Stade Saputo ready for game day
In a few months, the grounds at Stade Saputo went from looking like a barren wasteland from an old Wild, Wild West movie, to a rich green pasture able to cultivate a full herd of cattle.
“This is one of the smoothest and best projects of my career, actually,” said Roch Poulin, who is in charge of the grass installation. “It went extremely well.”
“The only problem we had was that one of the delivery trucks broke down on delivery!” he said, with a smile.
And the grass, cultivated and grown at the Gazonnière Bastien in Terrebonne for nine months, was even put in ahead of schedule, with just one week between sod and bulldozer to playing surface, culminating with the final placement of sod last Friday.
“This is one of my biggest successes in terms of speed. All that’s left for the next few days is to correct some of the imperfections of the surface using a 6,000 lb. asphalt compactor,” added Roch Poulin, whose experience in grass resurfacing for golf courses all across Quebec is vast. “And now we have two extra days to perfect the pitch as we are ahead of schedule.”
Part of the perfection process includes adding minerals and additives, the likes of calcium and monopotassium phosphate that will help with the rooting of the grass.
And some new technology helped as well as it allowed for fewer joints between adjacent roles of sod once put in place.
“This is the first time we used a new cutting machine that stripped the grass sod into roles of 42 inches instead of the traditional 21 inches. With that, there are fewer joints that need fewer stitches and as a result, fewer problems,” he said.
But the key, according to Roch Poulin, is in the irrigation system.
“Grass is 80% water. Mother Nature could help out with some sun and photosynthesis, but in the end, the irrigation system we put in place is what will keep this grass in tip top shape.”
The players won’t the only stars on television come gameday: so will the grass. This is why over 100 000 square feet of Kentucy Bluegrass has been laid at Stade Saputo.
“This type of grass was chosen specifically for its texture and colour, to look better for television. There are specifications from the league that had to be followed.”
“With a lot of cooperation between the almost 60 different people working together from different companies to put this project together, the Impact will have an excellent pitch.”