Comerica Park set to get all new grass

Field should be ready for Opening Day, March 31

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - Comerica Park in downtown Detroit hosted hockey in January, but now the field is being prepared for a full season of baseball.

Because of the placement of a hockey rink on the surface of the field, all of the sod in the stadium was taken out.  Now it is going to be replaced .

This might be one of those projects with the admonition "don't try this at home."

Mike Thompson runs Hillcrest Sod Farm in Romulus. He says this is not the time of the year for a homeowner to be thinking about sod replacement.

"With the temperatures going down to the 20s, we think we will get another freeze again, we're not doing anything. Nobody in Michigan is doing anything right now," Thompson said.

But crews at Comerica Park will be doing something. Starting next week, 103,000 square feet of Kentucky Blue Grass will be shipped in from Colorado to re-sod the baseball field.

Thompson sees that installation as a challenge.

"You know that plant really likes warm weather. So it's definitely going to be challenging, so maybe something I wouldn't try to pull off," he said.

Installation of the new sod at Comerica Park is due to begin next Tuesday and take about two or three days to complete.

The sod farm owner was asked how long it will take to take root.

"For a homeowner, when we do installations, in ideal conditions, we tell them wait two weeks to get on it. Those are ideal conditions, warm sun every day and not 10 inches of snow covering," Thompson said.

But he has faith that the sod installation will be a success.  It has to be.

The Detroit Tigers open the 2014 season at home Monday, March 31.

The players and fans will be ready.  They hope and expect the field will be ready too.

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