AutoZone Park converted to soccer field for Memphis 901 FC game

AutoZone Park converted to soccer field for Memphis 901 FC game
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In 12 days, Memphis 901 FC will host its home opener at AutoZone Park.

Before the game, however, there's a big transformation that must happen at the ballpark.

The plan for Monday was to lay down the new sod to cover areas like the pitcher's mound.

All the rain last week put that on hold, to allow the sod to dry out.

Still, everything remains right on schedule to for the soccer field debut this Saturday at fan fest.

Ground crews leveled the mounds and placed protective tarps over the clay in preparation for the sod to be laid out Tuesday morning.

It's a special type of sod that will be used and it's grown locally just outside Memphis.

The sod will be on the field for two weeks before the pitch is converted back to a baseball field.

“We’re going to do this about 12 times this year and you know the process is really not overly complicated, we just take off the small layer of the infield dirt and then bring in a really thick cut sod,” said Craig Unger, President of Memphis 901 FC.

Talk of installing a retractable mound that would sink below the field to speed up the switch over process between Memphis 901 FC and Memphis Redbirds games is still an option the ballpark is considering.

For the time being, we're told the grounds crew have self-engineered something that will help that process on rebuilding the mound between games.

Fan Fest is happening this Saturday. You'll be able to watch practice, meet the players, and walk the redesigned field.

The first game is March 9 against Tampa Bay.

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