One of the most notable components of the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium is the massive field tray that will hold the natural grass turf the Raiders will play on.
Before workers finish constructing the field tray, which will roll in and out of the stadium between games, stadium officials are testing out the vital process on a field tray mockup on site.
The mock tray is being used to test out four different types of natural grass turf to see which one performs best in the Las Vegas climate, said Don Webb, chief operating officer of Las Vegas Stadium Co.
The field maintenance crew is overseeing the process, which began about six months ago and runs until late fall.
“We’re seeing which one performs best during the heat of the summer,” Webb said. “At that point we’ll decide which one that we want grown at the sod farm, so we can begin growing that with an eye toward getting it on the field tray when the field tray is ready.”
The process is also testing out the irrigation system, the drainage collection system and the soil growth medium system, all of which will be used on the field tray, Webb said.
There are no moving parts to the mock field tray, as they’re not testing out the field tray’s mobility feature, Webb said.
Crews are in the process of constructing the full-size 4-foot-deep tray that will move the 9,500-ton natural grass field in-and-out of the stadium between Raiders and UNLV football games.
The Raiders will use natural turf, which will be on the field tray, while UNLV will use artificial turf, which will be located on the stadium floor.
Rolling on 13 rails through a 14-by-240 foot opening on the south end of the stadium, the process for bringing the turf in or out is an intricate one.
The field tray will take about 90 minutes to fully move in or out of the stadium via 76 electric motors moving the tray along a rail line.
First tests on the full size tray are scheduled to occur near the end of May, Webb said.