Well before anyone knew which two teams would battle to become Super Bowl XLI champions, Ed Mangan and his team took to the field at Dolphin Stadium.
Mangan, the field director of the NFL; Alan Sigwardt, director of grounds at the stadium; and a team of 25 to 30 workers, from both the NFL and the stadium, laser graded and resodded the playing field on which the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts will play.
The crew arrived in Miami Jan. 3 to replace the field that had suffered through a season of wear and tear.
“You want to start fresh with a brand new surface,” Mangan said.
After tearing up the old sod, the crew placed approximately 80,000 sq. ft. (7,400 sq m) of new surface from two different sod farms. Initially, the sod was coming from Georgia, but the region was getting too much rain and was lessening the quality of the playing field. So they supplemented the sod from a second farm in West Palm Beach, Fla., where the weather was more cooperative.
To give the field the same consistency as felt on a brand new pool table, the crew looked to Briggs Equipment Salesman Tony Yanes, who recommended the 8-ton Hamm HD90 roller.
“Briggs had what we were looking for,” Mangan said. “We chose the Hamm to ensure we got a good, smooth surface to make everything contiguous.”
Yanes said the 66-in. double drum vibratory roller was “the perfect match” for the NFL’s field needs.
This is Mangan’s 17th Super Bowl and he said each year provides its own challenges. However, the weather in Miami has been cooperative and things ran very well, he said.
Mangan said Dolphin Stadium has been inundated with construction equipment of all types in preparation for the big game. In addition to his equipment for the field, some renovations are being made to the stadium and crews are setting up the NFL Experience nearby. CEG