The project, which is scheduled to be completed by late-October, entails the complete
replacement of the entire field, including the infield and outfield grass, the infield dirt and the warning
Even though the surface was replaced three years ago, prior to the 2006 season when Pittsburgh
hosted the All-Star game, the Pirates are undertaking the complete replacement of the field to ensure
that both the Pirates and visiting players are playing on the finest surface in Major League Baseball
when they play at PNC Park.
“While the lifespan of a Major League Baseball playing surface is typically four to eight years, it is
important that PNC Park remains the Best Ballpark in America in every respect,” said Pirates President
Frank Coonelly. “We are committed to giving our fans the best in terms of ballpark amenities, customer
service and atmosphere for watching a ballgame and giving our players the finest working conditions in
baseball. Our three-year old field was still among the better playing surfaces in baseball but our
commitment to our fans and to our players is excellence and our new field will meet that high standard.”
The new grass surface will be comprised of a Tuckahoe Bluegrass sod, which is a mix of four different
kinds of Kentucky Bluegrass – 40% P105 Kentucky Bluegrass, 20% Midnight Star Kentucky Bluegrass,
20% Brilliant Kentucky Bluegrass and 20% overseeded Moonlight Kentucky Bluegrass – and was
chosen because of its high quality pedigree that is ideal for Northern climates such as Pittsburgh.
The turf was hand-picked by Pirates Director of Field Operations Manny Lopez and Field Maintenance
Supervisor Derek Hurlburt from a sod farm in New Jersey after visiting several farms in the Northeast
The infield dirt will be replaced with new dirt called Dura Edge All-Star Infield Mix. The mix is a blend
of several different kinds of dirt coming from a local company in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, called
Natural Sand Company. The mixture was created exclusively for PNC Park.
According to Coonelly, the design of the infield will be modified to include unique baselines and first
and third base and home plate cutouts, which will provide both functional and aesthetic improvements
to the layout.
Finally, the warning track, which is the 18-foot wide, dark red area that borders the entire field where
the playing surface meets the wall, will be replaced with new crushed lava rock.