How Cooley Law School Stadium flips from baseball to soccer

Published: Apr. 24, 2019 at 10:09 PM EDT
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It's a long and tedious process. A baseball diamond can't turn into a soccer field at the drop of a hat.

It's a process that the grounds crew for the Lansing Lugnuts and Ignite haven't done often; Friday night’s installment is only their second go-around.

Of course, no one gets it right the first time.

"The infield was just unplayable," said Richmond Kickers Head Coach David Bulow after a 3-1 loss to the Ignite. "The rest of the surface was's a shame, I hope they get it right."

And the grounds crew is listening...but safety is a key concern when it comes to the new field.

"As we're doing this, regardless of whether Ignite wins or loses, as long as the field is safe and playable, that's the most important thing," said President Nick Greuser.

"We don't want anyone getting hurt. As far as his comments are concerned, I know more about grass than he does, so I really don't care," said Head Groundskeeper Zach Severns. "It's only going to get better. We're only going to get faster at it, and we're going to put out the best playing product that we can."

For the staff at Cooley Law School Stadium, versatility is key.

They hope to host a different event every day this year.

"It’s been our focus to use the stadium more as a community," said Greuser. "The more times we can open our gates and allow people to use the asset that the city has, that's our ultimate goal."

Changing the playing surface often is something that depends on a lot of things, but Severns and his crew are eager and ready for the challenge.

"A storm five days from now is affecting what i do today. I have to constantly be on my toes, and I actually find that adrenaline rush fun. It's going to be a fun process. I'm actually excited for the rest of the season."

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