Field of the Year

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Field of the Year

ELD OF THE YEARCox Soccer Complex Earns STMA1999 Field of the Year Honors In theMunicipal/Parks and Recreation Divisiononstructed in 1969 as a municipalbaseball park, W. L. "Bill"Cox Memorial Park of Farmersnch, Texas, underwent majornges in 1988. The baseball fieldse eliminated and were replaced byt has become one of the premierer facilities in the North Texason. So good, in fact, the Coxcer Complex earned STMA 1999d of the Year honors in theicipal/Parks and Recreationision.he soccer complex offers the kindexibility needed to serve the activeer programs of various age andI levels. The premium full-sizenumber 5 is parallel to another-size field, number 4. The threeller soccer fields located in theth end of the complex are desigdas fields 1,2 and 3. For tournatplay by those 12 and older, thesee small fields are converted to ad full-size field, designated asber 6.Robfn


mately 30 feet to the southwest. Ascoreboard was donated and installedby Coca-Cola in conjunction with theCarrollton/FarmersBranchIndependent School District."Seating arrangements are contingenton tournament needs. We havemoveable bleachers in both 21 foot,five row, and 15 foot, three row configurationsand can seat up to 500 forlarge tournaments."The city population of approximately26,900 climbs during thebusiness day to 85,500. Edwardsadds, "We are blessed with a strongtax base and supportive City Councilthat provide the funding necessary tomaintain athletic fields to very highstandards. Still, escalating requestsfor field use and budgetary con-Spectators pack the sideline to watch a gamein rainy weather. Courtesy: City of FarmersBranchThe city has five softball fields,five baseball fields and the potentialof 16 soccer fields of different sizes.But getting those soccer fields takessome conversion. Like a magician'smystifying sleight of hand, thecrews of the City of Farmers Branchtransform two baseball outfieldsinto four soccer fields. At each baseballfield, they pull down the outfieldfence and convert the space totwo soccer fields for the under 6 andunder 8 leagues. Often they mustwork this transformation in a day.There may be league practices onThursday evening, followed by aweekend soccer tournament, followedby Monday practices, followedby more of the 30 league games inan "average" week.Edwards says, "In 1988, a lightingsystem was installed in the CoxComplex capable of manual and/orcomputerized programming. CoxField 5 is lighted by four 45-footpoles supporting 5 metal halidelamps each. Also in 1988 a state ofthe art irrigation system wasinstalled on the Complex, includingToro 640 series rotor heads and aRainbird ISC controller. Recent systemrenovations have includedreplacing that controller with anIrritrol MC-24 B + controller,installing a harness for a TRCremote control, and replacing someheads with Hunter 1-25 rotor heads."The new concession andrestroom facility was completed bythe start of the 1998 spring season.The concession stand opens to thenorth at Field 5 and to the east intoa gated breezeway. Also in 1998,while preparing for the NCAA'sConference USA Women's SoccerChampionship, Field 5 was widenedto 210 feet. In order to accomplishthis, a light pole was moved approxisportsTURF • http://www.sporsturfonline.com'F I V EGREAT REASONS WHYYOU SHOULD CONSIDERBULL'S EYE BermudaFOR YOUR NEXTPROJECT.• Virtually No Seedheads• Good Shade Tolerance• Deep Blue-Green Color• Medium, Wide Blade ForTexture Contrast• Can Be Mowed WithRotary or ReelBULL'S EYEBermudaWEST COAST~'JyTURFGROWERS AND INSTALLERS OFPREMIUM QUALITY SOD AND STOLONSwww.westcoastturf.com 760/360,5464 800/447-1840 FAX: 760/360,5616Circle 104 on Inquiry CardSeptember 2000 9


n average week of play at Cox Complex includes two days of league practices, 30 leaguegames and a weekend soccer tournament. Courtesy: City of Farmers Branch,ints call for innovative solutions."eduIe coordinationhe soccer tournaments range30 teams to more than 160s. Anne Bauwens Coe, athleticgram coordinator for the city,says, "We've developed a win-winrelationship with our local hotels andmotels that aids our program. Wework with the various soccer clubs onsetting up tournaments and negotiaterates with the hotels and motelsto generate room use. One soccerS H Q,·W CAStournament over Thanksgiving generatesover 600 rooms with all tournamentscombined generatingapproximately 2,200 rooms in anaverage year. We further stimulatethe tournaments' economic impact bysupplying attendee packets thatinclude such community promotionitems as maps oflocal restaurants. Aportion of the hotel-motel tax revenuehas been budgeted to cover certaincosts associated with these tournaments:tents, staff members onsite,portable restrooms, etc. In turn,we don't charge the clubs for this, orfor the field use or lighting costs butthe clubs are expected to generate acertain number of room nights in ourhotels."Coe works with each tournamentdirector months before the event.She develops a master calendar forall on-field events. Each Friday, sheprovides the crews and the administrationwith the following week'sfield use schedule so they can monitorany unauthorized use and coordinatemaintenance and on-site servicesaccordingly.Continued on page 13Jaydee Drive LinerThe jaydee Drive liner is a self-propelled riding line marker. The35-gallon paint tank carries enough marking material for acomplete game field, or several practice fields. The 2-gallon flushtank cleans the discharge lines for work breaks, travel, orovernight. The center or side-mark spray shields are alwaysoperator-visible. A nearly zero turning radius reduces or eliminatesback and turn maneuvers.10 September 2000Jaydee Equipment Company202 East Joliet Highway, Box 278New Lenox, IL 60451-0278TOLL FREE: 1-800-443-3268Circle 105 on Inquiry CardFence Guard Protective Covers for chain link fencing are nowavailablein six colors - SafetyYellow,plus Dark Green, Red, White, Blue,and Orange - plus in standard and premium grades. These heavy-duty,UV-resistant,polyethylenecovers protect players from chain link fenceinjuries and provide a neat/distinctivelook to fencing. Fence Guard has a 5-year manufacturer's limited warranty and ships by UPS.Fence Guard plus windscreen, ball netting, and wall paddingare among the more than 200 baseball and softball productsavailable from "Your One-Stop Source for America's LeadingSports Surfaces & Supplies:"PARTAC® I BEAM CLAY®Kelsey ParkGreat Meadows, NJ 07838800/247-BEAM • 908/637-4191 • Fax: 908/637-8421Circle 106 on Inquiry CardsporfsTURF· http://www.sporsturfonline.com


State of the art lighting and irrigation systems were installed at the complex in 1988. Field 5 is litby four 45-foot-tall poles supporting five metal halide lamps each. Courtesy: City of FarmersBranchMaintenance issuesSoil at the Soccer Complex is aheavy clay gumbo. A one percentgrade across each of the fieldsachieves adequate surface drainage.French drains, 6-inches wide and 18-inches deep, were installed on thewest and south sides of Field 5 toalleviate standing water along thesidelines that approached the fieldedge. The common bermudagrassturf was sprigged with Tifway 419,concentrating on Fields 4 and 5, toprovide greater turf density andfaster recovery.The July-August window for renovationgets tighter every year.Edwards says, "Tryouts for select soccerran from July 1 to 15, followed bya 65 team tournament that ended onJuly 22. By then, our overseededperennial and intermediate ryegrasswere transitioning out. We came inwith solid tine aeration to a 6 to 8inch depth, applied approximately1I4-inch of #9 sand and used our ballfield and mat drags to drag it in-:-Wefertilizedwith a 24-8-16 fertilizer atthe rate of 1-1/4 pound of Nitrogenper 1,000 square feet and increasedthe irrigation frequency. With practicestarting on Aug. 11 and the firstgame Aug. 22, that gave us threeweeks to bring the bermudagrass totop condition."Compaction is attacked with anaggressive program of monthly sliceaeration combined with deep tineaeration, and core aerification inCircle 108 on Inquiry Card14 September 2000 sporfsTURF· http://www.sporsturfonline.com


August when field schedules allowit, all done in two directions. Sandtopdressing is applied in August andagain in the fall in conjunction withtheir overseeding program, usingapproximately 140 yards of sandover the 9-acre soccer complex. Thisyear a small walk-behind core aerifierhas been purchased for use in thegoal areas, along the sidelines and inmid-field.Edwards notes, "The rye transitionsout about 100 percent by thetime to overseed again with our customblend of perennial and intermediaterye grasses in late September.We slit seed 75 percent of the seedand broadcast the remaining 25 percent.Play can't be restricted at thattime so good establishment can takeuntil mid-November. It's then thedominant turf until high temperatureskick in about the start of June.Though the rye on the fields isstronger and longer than thebermudagrass, the density and cushioningof the bermuda greatlyimprove overall field quality."Extreme dry weather and stringentwater restrictions have complicatedfield maintenance the last coupleyears, though the spring of 2000was relatively wet. Edwards says,"We've prioritized water use on allour properties. We allocate limitedamounts to general park and greenspace and apply that water to theathletic fields to address safety andliability issues and to support optimumfield use levels."Coe and Edwards both commendthe support the athletic field programsreceive from the City Council, the citizens,city administration and the Parksand Recreation Department. They say,"They expect quality from us and theygive us the responsibility and resourcesto achieve it. It's a team effort, requiringthe cooperation and assistance ofall parks maintenancecrews,the irrigationcrew, the mowingoperatorsand the chemicalapplicator.Ultimately; oursuccess lies inthe dedicationand commitmentto excellenceof thoseon the fieldsdaily; JoseMartinez, RonThompson,Dennis Sewelland RussellCoe, who handlethe myriadof responsibilitiesthat goalong withmain tainingtop quality athleticfields."BobTracinski is thebusiness communicationsmanager forthe John DeereWorldwideCommercial &ConsumerEquipmentDivision headquarteredinRaleigh, NG.He serves aspublic relationsco-chair for thenational SportsTurf ManagersAssociation.SIStS TILTH N' SEEDFAST overseeding of outfield turf.Wide range of seeding rates. Largecapacity hopper, and rear roller tofirm the surface.Full details of the SISIS range of turf equipmentSIfrom:SISIS Inc•PO Box 537Sandy SpringsSC 29677'Phone: 864261 6218'Fax: 864261 6932e-mail: idc@sisis.u-net.comsports TURF • http://www.sporsturfonline.comSeptember 2000 15

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