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Marlins face not-so-unusual problem: dead turf in a covered ballpark

Miami MarlinsThe problem dates back to the original Astrodome, where AstroTurf was invented to solve this issue: the Miami Marlins find it hard keeping grass alive in a covered ballpark.

It’s been a wet April in Miami — undoubtedly due to global warming, if you ask Tim McCarver — and so the roof has been closed at Marlins Park considerably more than projected. Good for the crowds; bad for the fairly new turf that needs sunlight to thrive. Usually the problem can be solved by opening the ballpark during the day — even if it’s closed at night, as you’ll see a lot at Chase Field and Safeco Field — but that’s not been an option for the Marlins grounds crew.

With the Fish out of town for nine days, this gives the grounds crew a chance to catch up and work their magic on a fading turf. Lamps will be used to imitate natural sunlight, 

As you’ll recall, the Astrodome sported grass during its inaugural season, with the hope that enough sunliight would enter the ballpark via translucent panels on the roof. It didn’t, and the turf turned brown and played hard as a rock at the end of the season. The next year saw a brand new invention, AstroTurf, installed at the Astrodome, initiating a whole new era of artificial turf and turf-specific accidents — like turf toe — in the next four decades.


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