Super turf gets a paint job before the big games

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Crews are putting the finishing touches on the field where the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl will be played. And it turns out, this is no ordinary grass.

It started growing on a plot of land in Alabama almost two years ago. Then it was placed in climate-controlled trucks and brought to Arizona. Crews put it in place and nurtured it for the last two weeks to make sure it is ready for the big games.

The grass truly is greener outside University of Phoenix Stadium, and a little yellow, and orange, and white.

The team on the field added the lines and designs for Sunday's Pro Bowl.

“We have to mow this field every day,” said Ed Mangan, NFL Field Director. “It grows out of the paint, so we do have to go back and adjust those. So the entire field will get painted probably three times before we come up on Sunday.”

Mangan said the 92,000 square feet of live turf was installed 11 days ago, but they've been babying it for a long time, hundreds of miles from Arizona.

“We grow that,” he said. “Monitor that for a solid 12 months coming up to the game.”

His ground crew consists of 30 people who came to Glendale from across the country. Mangan said while they can touch up the paint, they have to keep the grass strong enough to survive inside and endure the punishment of both games.

“On Friday it goes back inside,” he said. “For the next ten days following, it will only be back outside for two days.”

Unlike years past, Arizona's shorts weather has been good for the grass and the crew.  Next week they will rehab the field and start painting again.

“For the Super Bowl we will remove the end zones and replace them with blank grass,” he said. “Obviously start team colors and markings.”

The field will roll back into the stadium on Wednesday with the Patriots and Seahawks painted on the end zones. That is where it will stay until the Super Bowl.