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Kevin Schnepf, Published January 04 2013

Frisco grass looks like turf thanks to winter work

FRISCO, TEXAS – The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In the case of the grass North Dakota State’s football team will be playing on in today’s national championship game, it has become greener underneath a giant tarp.

For the last two months, the grounds crew at FC Dallas Stadium has been growing a rye grass over its base of Bermuda grass. To quicken the growing process, the grass has been covered with turf blankets.

The results for today’s Football Championship Subdivision national title game between NDSU and Sam Houston State will be noticeable. The grass – the real grass – is a bright green.

“There are a lot of teams who come here and think it’s an artificial surface, but it’s real,” said Allen Reed, the grounds coordinator for FC Dallas Stadium.

Knowing the Bermuda grass browns up and goes dormant during the winter, Reed had his crew overseed the field with rye grass once the FC Dallas professional soccer season ended three months ago. The rye grows greener during the winter.

“We have been fertilizing and mowing for the last two months,” Reed said.

FC Dallas Stadium has been home to professional soccer since the Dallas Burn moved to Frisco in 2004. Reed estimates that more than 70 soccer games and 17 high school football games have been played on this field in the last year.

“We really enjoy this game,” Reed said of the FCS title game that is booked to be played here through 2015. “It’s a great way to kick off the new year for us.”

It’s also a great way for the grounds crew to show off their artistic talent. It has been busy using 425 gallons of paint to display the FCS logo in the middle of the field and the two schools’ nicknames and colors in the end zones.

“North Dakota (State) changed the color scheme on us this year,” Reed said. “Last year, their letters were yellow with a green background. This year, the letters are green with a yellow background. It just may take a second or third coat of yellow paint to cover up that green grass.”

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com