Local News

Panthers May Find Shoddy Sod at Lambeau Field

Posted January 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A steady rain and cold temperatures had players digging holes in the sod during the last game at Lambeau Field. The Green Bay gridiron is in rough shape and now the race is on to get the field repaired before the Panthers and Packers meet in Sunday's NFC championship.

According to two experts at N.C. State, the weather will be a major factor in determining the field conditions Saturday.

"From what I understand, they're going to do two to three inches in depth sod in big rolls and, from what I understand, they're going to do 10 yards at a time," said NCSU Athletic Fields Supervisor Ray Brincefield.

Each roll of sod that covers Lambeau Field is 42 feet long, three-and-a-half feet wide and weighs a ton. Grounds keepers will likely secure all 85,000 cubic feet of sod with stakes, then mash it down with giant rollers.

The weather is once again the main obstacle, however. If it rains, the new sod could become mud again. If it's too cold, everything freezes.

"If that soil is frozen and they put this sod down on a frozen surface, then that may create some problems for them in that area," said NCSU plant pathologist Leon Lucas.

To help keep the field in shape for the game, Lambeau Field has heating coils in its center that run from end to end and keep the sod at about 65 degrees. Lucas said the coils and a plastic cover should protect the field, but will leave the sidelines at the mercy of the elements.