SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – Crews are installing hundreds of rolls of new sod at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, as officials prepare for the venue’s first event in August.
On Thursday morning, the rolls of sod were delivered on 13 semi-trucks. The turf, called Bandera Bermuda, is much more water-efficient than your garden variety Bermuda grass.
“Hybrid Bermudas tend to be mowed very tightly, so they become very fast. The athletes can really be quite quick on them,” said Greg Dunn with West Coast Turf, the company supplying the turf.
West Coast Turf has been cultivating the field in Livingston, part of rural Merced County. The company also supplies sod for AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, among other professional stadiums.
Dunn said the Bandera blend only requires half as much watering as other varieties of Bermuda. He said they are “spoon feeding” the grass in its infancy.
“We’re always feeding it small doses of fertilizer all the time to get it mature and get it strong,” Dunn said. “What you’re looking for is a grass that has a high tensile strength, holds together and provides great footing or cleat-holding capabilities.”
The 49ers chose grass over artificial turf because they said players are less likely to get injured.
Although the officials date for the 49ers first pre-season game is not official yet, it will be held in August. Meanwhile, the first athletes to try out the turf will be soccer players, as the first game at the stadium will be a Major League Soccer match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders on August 2.