Ravens replacing turf field with natural grass

Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 19:39:53-05

The field at M&T Bank Stadium is getting a new face.

For the first time in more than a decade, the turf is coming out and natural grass is going in.

Even for moderate Ravens fanatics, watching the turf get cut into strips could seem like sacrilege.

The Ravens have played their home games at M&T Bank Stadium for close to 20 years. Half that time has been played on the turf, which was being carried out of the stadium Thursday by heavy machinery, along with the mashed up rubber tires underneath.

"In certain respects I am sad to see the artificial turg go because I have put a lot of work into it," said Don Follett, head grounds keeper and senior director of fields and grounds at the stadium. It's his job to make sure the entire operation runs smooth.

"The players preferred a real grass field, both to practice, and to play on, just because they like it better," he said.

Follett said the plastic from the turf and the sand and crumb rubber underneath would be recycled.

All told, the entire process could take up to three months because field crews have to wait until the weather warms up around May, Follett explained.

The Ravens haven't played on a real grass field since those good-ole' days of lore, so as the old goes out the hope is the clock gets reset.

"I think there's a certain mystique to that, yeah. Real football is played on real grass," Follett said.