“It’s done because the field is a stage for the athletes,” Rose Bowl general manager Darryl Dunn said. “Everybody, the Tournament of Roses, ourselves, want the field to be perfect. The only way to make it perfect is for it to be perfectly new.”
Two hours after the completion of Michigan State’s 24-20 victory over Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl, grounds crew members began shaving the field so that there was very little grass remaining on the lush green field. Then truckloads of new grass, in rolls, entered the stadium and workers began rolling it on to the existing grass. “It’s really thick and heavy and our grounds crew is fantastic,” Dunn said. “It has to hold the weight for all these big football players.”
The Rose Bowl did the exact same thing four years ago when Alabama defeated Texas in the BCS title game, six days after Ohio State defeated Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl. “They wanted us to do it four years ago and we were a little circumspect,” Dunn said. “It worked out phenomenally. One of the best things going for us is Southern California’s great weather. We’re all gung-ho and excited.” No rain or extreme weather is forecast for the four days before Monday. One thing Dunn’s crew will have to do is raise the goalposts. “It’s a tall task, but the Rose Bowl is special,” Dunn said. “We’re very, very proud of our facility and we’re very proud of our field. We want athletes playing on Monday to be on the best field possible.”
After Monday’s game, the new grass will be rolled off the field and what is left of the grass underneath will be allowed to regrow in time for the 2014 football season.