New grass on its way to Target Field

New grass on its way to Target Field

MINNEAPOLIS -- When a caravan of 19 refrigerated trucks rolls into Minneapolis on Monday, Target Field will be one step closer to completion.

The trucks will be carrying the grass for the Twins' new ballpark all the way from Colorado, using air conditioners to prevent the grass from overheating. Installation on the turf will begin Monday evening, and the entire field is expected to be "grassed" by Thursday morning.

"It's a big milestone, there's no question about it," said Twins executive director of public affairs Kevin Smith. "Once the grass goes in, that's kind of a sign that this project is no longer a project and has become an actual ballpark when you see the living, breathing grass."

The grass used in Target Field will be brought in from Graff's Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, Colo., while a Minnesota-based trucking firm will be used to transport the turf. In all, around 110,000 square feet of turf will be harvested before it's installed at the new stadium.

Graff's Turf Farms, located an hour outside of Denver, has grown the grass used at a handful of fields across the country, including Wrigley Field in Chicago and the practice field of the Minnesota Vikings in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Already in place at Target Field is some of the infield dirt, which Smith said has been raked for the past several days in preparation for the turf installation.

"You can definitely see where that grass is going to go," Smith said.

Once the turf is finally in place, workers will shift their attention to other projects as they prepare the stadium for Opening Day 2010. While the structural parts of the stadium are essentially completed, details such as seats, signs and lights have not yet been finished.

"There's a lot of other things coming up," Smith said. "Into the fall will be a big Target Field sign going up. Target Plaza will take shape and actually be completed. Later in the fall, they'll be doing a number of tests on the stadium lights, so there's a lot coming up after the grass goes in."

But of everything left to be done in the new stadium, Smith knows the one of the most significant additions will be the turf.

"It really shows that the Twins are going to be playing outside," Smith said.

Tyler Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.