Welcome to Turf Talk – now a blog! Where all we talk about is the grass at the Maryland SoccerPlex! Let’s start at the beginning and let you know all the details about the Plex.
The Maryland SoccerPlex is located inside the South Germantown Recreational Park. We control 22 of the 24 fields, equating to about 152 acres of park land. It is the job of our Grounds and Environmental crew to professionally maintain the 22 fields and their immediate surrounds, the rest of the park, and fields 23 and 24, are run by the Montgomery County Parks Department.
The Maryland SoccerPlex also has the Adventist HealthCare Fieldhouse, which is an indoor facility that is equipped with basketball courts, volleyball courts, indoor meeting space, and 2 turf fields in the wintertime.
We don’t have just 1 type of grass across all fields. We have a mixture of cool-season grass, warm-season grass, synthetic turf, and a hybrid combination of warm and cool-season grasses. Having a mixture allows us to rotate the fields in use based on the temperature and time of year. It also allows our apprentices of the Maryland SoccerPlex Sports Turf Institute the opportunity to learn about the different grass types. Of the 24 fields, 8 are cool-season, 8 are warm-season, 3 are synthetic turf, and 3 are a hybrid of cool-season and warm-season.
The fields themselves are most often used as soccer fields, however, the size allows them to be used for lacrosse, rugby, flag football, kickball, and even ultimate frisbee!
Sitting at the center of the Plex, we have Maureen Hendricks Field at Championship Stadium, which is used for professional and amateur-level events. It is currently home to Maryland Bobcats FC, a professional men’s soccer team. In 2022, we began a 3-year contract with the BIG EAST Conference to host the men’s and women’s soccer championships in Championship Stadium.
Of the 24 fields at the Plex, 6 are equipped with lights and over half of the fields are equipped with drainage to allow for longer play in periods of bad weather. The goal is to have all fields equipped with drainage by the end of 2023.
Now that you know a little more about the ‘basics,’ in 2 weeks we will explain what we mean when we say cool-season fields and warm-season fields! Tune in!
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