Gillette Stadium Acquires Turnkey Turf Protection System
Gillette Stadium, proud home of the New England Patriots, New England Revolution and University of Massachusetts Amherst Football, recently acquired a turnkey outdoor drivable field cover from Matrax, Inc. to protect the synthetic turf during nonfootball events. Billboard magazine ranked Gillette Stadium among the top 10 venues in the world over the last decade.
The stadium hosts a variety of other marquee events, including international soccer matches, NCAA championships, Feld Motor Sports Monster Jam truck shows and Supercross. Additionally, the largest international musical acts in the United States annually play sold-out shows inside the venue each summer. Among the many artists to have recently taken the stage at Gillette Stadium are: Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, AC/ DC, Jay-Z and Beyonce, One Direction, Bruce Springsteen and U2.
In September, the stadium had one of its busiest stretches in the 13-year history of the venue. Gillette Stadium had to be converted from a football field following the Patriots preseason finale vs. the New York Giants into a natural grass surfaced-venue for a New England Revolution soccer match and an international soccer friendly featuring the United States Men’s National Team and Brazil. Following the USA vs. Brazil match, the stadium was converted back into a football field for the 2015 NFL Kickoff featuring the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Following the NFL season opener, the venue was transformed from a football field to a concert venue for One Direction in less than 42 hours. Gillette Stadium’s Facility Operations Manager Jason Stone, who has extensive experience with various turf protection products, said this could not have been accomplished without Matrax.
Turf Protection Essentials
The primary purpose of the Matrax field covering system is to protect the synthetic turf, support heavy vehicular traffic during the construction of stages and lighting systems and to provide a safe surface for the general public during events. Other systems that Gillette Stadium had previously used could not support fully loaded 40-foot tractor-trailers weighing 40,000 pounds, which made for challenging stage builds.
Where other field covering systems are designed from a flooring perspective, Matrax was engineered with temporary road building and heavy vehicular traffic in mind. It was also designed to be easily installed, stored, and transported. Moreover, the Matrax system has translucent properties that permit light to penetrate to the surface below, thus allowing natural grass to stay alive for up to seven days while covered, thereby eliminating the need for sod replacement. While it transmits light, it does not transfer heat from the surface to the underside.
We believe Matrax offers the most versatile system on the market, considering both heavy loads and pedestrian traffic to provide the ultimate protection of our turf. Matrax has been installed on our Speed Series S5-M product and tested by our Quality Assurance Specialist at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome. The product excels over the competition.
– Mark Hill, Director of Quality Assurance, TURFindustry/UBU Sports
Matrax has become the system of choice by many industry professionals and has been successfully installed in other notable venues, including Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, M&T Bank Stadium, MetLife Stadium and on the National Mall in Washington, DC. It has also been used internationally in Italy, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
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