Construction work that began on the floor of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore last January heads to the finish line with completion on schedule for May. The placement of the new custom growing media with vertically draining design features continues while the unique to NFL venues artificial turf out of bounds perimeter is quite visible from inside the seating bowl.
The Ravens have elected to install a synthetic turf "apron" as the sports surfacing covering for the areas well beyond the formal playing surface boundaries. While this approach is common in European stadia design to facilitate general operations in these high traffic, low light zones, that abut the Stadium wall it will only be the second NFL venue with such a feature, Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara being the other.
In Baltimore specifically, the synthetic apron which includes a safety shock pad beneath the turf, provides a safe sports surface for the athletes, excellent operational access, addresses the heavily shaded areas created by the seating bowl which is always problematic for growing quality sports turf, and as needed will allow efficient and effective snow removal should that be necessary late in the season or during the playoffs.
The new high performance natural grass playing surface will be aided by the modernization and reactivation of the sub-soil hydronic rootzone warming system designed to keep the soil at or above the proper turfgrass growing temperatures through the playoffs. This work includes the placement of 24 new soil temperature probes to inform the turf managers of the true growing conditions in the soil and aid controls of the massive pumps, heat exchangers and values that circulate the warm fluid through the miles of pipes under the playing surface.