Best In the State: CHS Field Named 2016 Minnesota Field of the YearST. PAUL, MN January 5, 2017
The award winning CHS Field has been recognized for everything from design to infrastructure to the organization that runs the ballpark. For the first time, however, the field and playing surface itself has been honored as the Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association (MPSTMA) 2016 Field of the Year. The annual award, sponsored by Turfco® Manufacturing, recognizes a Minnesota athletic facility for outstanding maintenance, aesthetics and overall playing conditions.
Nick Baker, who has been the Head Groundskeeper at CHS Field since the first season in 2015, was responsible for overseeing each aspect of the field. The ballpark hosted more than 100 days of activities which included 50 Saints home games, All-Star Monday and the American Association All-Star Game, the State High School Tournament, Legion Games and additional events such as festivals and concerts.
“Any time you receive recognition for hard work it means more than words can express,” said Baker. “It took a team of people from spring through fall to get the field ready each and every day for various events. This award belongs to all those hard working people that have worked alongside me since the ballpark opened in 2015.”
The largest event of the season was the 2016 American Association All-Star Game. The two-day event began on Monday, August 1 with a celebrity softball game, followed by a 30-minute concert by the Chris Hawkey Band, then the Home Run Derby and finally an hour long concert by Soul Asylum. The field needed to be in top shape for the All-Star Game on Tuesday, televised on FOX Sports Plus, after the beating it took the night before. Baker and his crew worked feverishly through the night and the next day and even mowed the Downtown city skyline into the grass, a design that received rave reviews from St. Paul and league dignitaries.
Greg Brodd, from Turfco, who will be presenting the award to Nick, The Saint Paul Saints Baseball organization, and the City of St Paul, said, “Turfco is very proud to make this presentation and look forward to supporting the Field of the Year award for many years to come”. He went on to say, “The premiere playing conditions Nick and his staff provide confirm his dedication to this field. Each and every year the quality playing conditions provided by candidates for this award is a testament to the dedication sports turf managers around the state on Minnesota are making.”
The field also uses recycled rainwater, from a rainwater cistern below the concourse beyond centerfield, to water the field each day. The Saints and CHS Field have received recognition for their sustainability efforts since the ballpark opened in 2015.
Schools, municipalities, colleges and professional teams in Minnesota are all eligible to submit their field for the award. A panel of three judges evaluates each submission, visit each facility and then make their decision.
The award will be presented to Nick Baker and the St. Paul Saints at the annual MPSTMA meeting on Tuesday, January 10.
For more information on MPSTMA, visit www.mpstma.org.
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Turfco Manufacturing is the topdressing leader in the golf and sports turf industry. Turfco built the first mechanized topdresser in 1961 and continues as the first choice of professional turf managers worldwide. By offering the best machine in each category, Turfco provides products that allow turf managers to accomplish topdressing and material handling objectives. For more information call 800-679-8201 or visit http://www.turfco.com.