Minnesota United FC is making a change at Allianz Field, as the club is starting the process of replacing grass on the stadium’s playing surface.
Allianz Field opened to acclaim at the beginning of the 2019 MLS season, though one issue during the stadium’s first season has been its bluegrass pitch. It has come up in divots during matches, posing a persistent enough problem that United looked into the issue and discovered problems with the underground drainage system.
The flaws in the drainage system have been addressed, and now United is launching the process of replacing the stadium’s grass. Work will begin Monday, and will take place as Allianz Field prepares for a busy October that will include a college football game and potentially an MLS Cup playoff match. More from the Pioneer Press:
On Sunday, United CEO Chris Wright shared the club discovered an underground drainage problem where rain and sprinkler water was pooling underneath the grass and affecting root growth. Sending remote cameras into the piping, the club’s grounds crew identified the issue and worked to correct it by mid-August.
But with the St. Thomas-St. John’s college football game scheduled for Oct. 19 and a potential MLS Cup playoff game at the St. Paul stadium the following day, United has decided to replace the grass starting Monday. There won’t be a rescheduling of the 89th playing of the Tommies-Johnnies rivalry game….
Wright said the club is working on potential liability issues for the drainage problem with an unnamed subcontractor of Mortenson Construction, which primarily built the stadium from 2017 to early 2019. Wright did not share a cost for the sod replacement.
“They (Mortenson) have third-party vendors, who work on the field with us,” Wright said. “We are working through the replacement (sod) with Mortenson. They will … have staff in here to oversee the laying of the sod with our grounds crew.”
United played its regular-season home finale on Sunday, which should leave plenty of time between now and the October 19 college football game to complete the sod replacement project.