As the ten-day project of installing the Memorial Stadium turf begins, Bob Milano describes the installation process and all the different layers from the surface turf down to the irrigation system.
"In these major sports venues, the field, in essence, is the stage for the event, and it takes a lot of support to make the event run properly," said Bob Milano Jr., UC Berkeley’s assistant athletic director for capital planning and management.
As for why artificial turf needs irrigation, Milano explained that large overhead sprinkers on the perimeter of the field, fed by the irrigation system underground, will provide short-term, evaporative cooling to keep the turf cool on hot days and during heavy training sessions; it will also serve to help routinely clean the turf.
Above the game-operations infrastructure, crushed stone was placed to provide a smooth playing surface, then a shock pad or "e-layer." The latter is a blend of crumb rubber and pea gravel with a polyurethane binder mixed together with a heavy paste and then leveled over the entire field. This layer under the turf provides additional shock absorption and safety for the athletes, Milano said.
"This elastic layer shock pad is not typically used (on college football fields)," said Milano. "But it has long-term benefits, mostly to provide additional shock absorption and make the surface safer for training and competition."
After that, the turf is laid in place. The long, shag rug-like fibers — 2 1/4 inches long — on backing go in first, in five-yard panels with the white yard lines stitched in. The other field markings, such as hash marks, yard-line numbers and logos, are hand cut into the turf. Over this installation is spread a blend of rubber and sand, a soil substitute that stands the fiber up, Milano said, and provides cushioning for the players and traction for their cleats.
This multi-layer turf system is as sophisticated as what you would expect from the nation's top public university. The College of Natural Resources would be proud...
- The Bears brought home medals during day one of the Olympics and CalBears.com recaps the entire day's events for Cal.
- Several Bears swam in the men's events, including Dominik Meichtry, Damir Dugonjic, and Martin Liivamagi. Unfortunately, none of the three advanced to their respective finals.
- Natalie Coughlin won medal number 12, although she won it in a reserve role as the U.S. won the bronze in the 4x100 relay. Jessica Hardy swam in the relay to help propel the U.S. to third.
Dana Vollmer cruised to a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly semifinals. In her first-round heat she set the American and Olympic records with a time of 56.36.
- Penn State linebacker Khairi Fortt visited the Bears this weekend. Cal has an outside shot at the possible transfer.
- Eric Gellerman, owner of The Wooden Duck, describes the process of turning the old Memorial Stadium wood from benches into furniture.
- Jon Wilner has the latest updates on the Pac-12 Network.
- Theo Robertson has returned to the Bears as a graduate assistant.
The Anaheim Basketball Classic schedule has been announced. The Bears will play Drake on Thanksgiving and either Georgia Tech or Ben Braun's Rice team on Saturday.