OU Prepares for U2 Hangover
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Norman and the University of Oklahoma are bracing for the U2 concert this weekend.
Local police have already started to prepare for traffic jams, and the grounds crew at Memorial Stadium is preparing for a big makeover afterwards.
Officials said not only will the U2 concert leave its mark on Norman but also on the Owen Field.
"They're going to take whatever measures they can to protect the field, but our understanding is that in most cases the fields are being destroyed in the process of the concerts," Kenny Mossman, OU Sports Information Director, said.
Care of the field is the job of OU head groundskeeper Jeff Salmond.
"It's the pride of Oklahoma. It's the most important two acres in the state of Oklahoma as far as I'm concerned," Salmond said.
OU has required the promoter to put down a $250,000 deposit to replace the entire field if necessary. OU has hired the Bent Oak Farm in Alabama to bring in new sod. Bent Oak did that in Tampa Bay before the last Super Bowl and before OU's game with Miami earlier this month.
"Well, it's a slick process. It's a, the materials that's used for the sod is lay and play is what you can characterize it as. We can lay it and play on it in the same day if we have to," Salmond said.
The new sod will arrive at the stadium on October 22, nine days before OU plays Kansas State.
"We've got a fair amount of time until our next home game is played, so we don't expect any problem," Mossman said.
OU's new field will consist of the same type of grass as the current field, which is called Tifsport Bermuda.