More renovation news from Coca-Cola Park, as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Class AAA; International League) are starting a sod replacement on the playing surface. This will be the first time that Coca-Cola Park’s sod has been replaced since the ballpark opened in 2007.
The field renovation – which is set to begin this weekend and last approximately three weeks – will provide numerous essential upgrades including a better-quality playing surface, improved drainage along with cosmetic enhancements. The installation is being completed by King Sports Turf, which recently installed a similar playing surface at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Approximately 95,000 square feet of grass area at Coca-Cola Park will be replaced with brand-new sod that will travel 101 miles from Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton, NJ. The new sod consists of 100% Kentucky Bluegrass and the new-field will be entirely sand-based. The new grass will be shipped by approximately 12 tractor trailer loads which equates to 400 tons of new sod.
The three week process includes many intricate steps and begins by stripping out the current grass at Coca-Cola Park. USGA-quality clean sand is then installed and laser-graded before being tilled. After another round of laser-grading takes place, the new 3/4-inch cut of sod of Kentucky Bluegrass is finally installed. Upon completion, the brand-new grass surface will be on-par with other Major League Baseball grass surfaces.
The original sod at Coca-Cola Park was host to 623 regular season IronPigs home games, an IronPigs-Phillies exhibition game, the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game, the 2013 Triple-A National Championship Game, two concerts and dozens of high school baseball games and other special events.
This is the fourth significant capital improvement project announced by the IronPigs in preparation for the club’s 10th anniversary season in 2017. Other reinvestment projects previously announced include:
- A series of state-of-the-art HD videoboards will be unveiled for the 2017 campaign, highlighted by an enormous 43′ x 73′ main HD videoboard that will be the largest in Minor League Baseball to incorporate a 16:9 HD aspect ratio.
- Brand-new protective netting behind home plate that covers all Field Level sections between the dugouts (108-116). The new protective netting provides additional safety and also offers 33% more visibility than the previous backstop.
- The Berks Foods Picnic Patio will receive a massive facelift in advance of the 2017 season as all seats will now be field-facing, include arms rests and chairbacks and feature drink rail counters for a more enjoyable, fan-friendly experience.