MIAMI (NEXSTAR) — It’s not unusual for someone to take pride in their front lawn, but imagine your grass being on display for the entire world? Such is the case for NFL Field Director Ed Mangan with Super Bowl LIV just days away.
“She’s ready right now,” Mangan said of the natural turf inside Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. “You could play on her right now, but obviously there’s a lot of things that need to happen on the field this week, we’ve got pre-game shows, halftime shows, postgame shows … all get rehearsal time.”
While the glistening turf appears ready for the rigors of Super Bowl week, it didn’t happen overnight. The process started two years ago on a sod farm, and 35 experts from stadiums across the country have been brought in to help.
“A brand new field, which is normal for Super Bowl,” Eric Finklestein, NFL Senior Director of Event Planning, added. “We put in a brand new field whenever we have a natural surface. Prepping that, getting it all ready.”
Finklestein added Tuesday that “it looks pretty good to me,” but Mangan emphasized that doesn’t mean it’s a finished product.
“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best; that’s what we do.”Eric Finklestein, NFL Senior Director of Event Planning
“It’s constantly being tested, monitoring moisture and growing conditions and temperature and disease pressure,” Mangan explained. “We also test it for hardness, see if that compaction is getting there for concussion protocols, things like that. It’s constantly being looked after.”
Preparations for the biggest show of the year have been underway since before last year’s Super Bowl was even played. And they won’t stop until its time for kickoff.
NFL officials have been visiting the site of Super Bowl LIV every month for the last 14 months to ensure everything is ready in time for Sunday.
“We have to continue to paint and get everything prepped and ready, not only in the building but also on the exterior on the sight,” Finklestein said.
In the broadcast booth, preparations are also underway for the large media presence that will be covering one of the biggest sporting events — and most-watched game — of the year.
“You have to learn things and know things that aren’t as sexy or exciting, like who’s the trainer, the equipment manager? Which doctor in case a guy goes under the tent?” Fox Sports Reporter Chris Myers explained.