Wednesday night, Ohio Stadium plays host to an elite soccer match between two European teams. To prepare, Ohio Stadium had to undergo a big transformation. Natural grass has returned to The Shoe – just for a night.
To prepare for the International Champion’s Cup match between Real Madrid and Paris St. Germain, Ohio Stadium workers had to lay more than 85,000 square feet of sod on top of the existing artificial turf in the stadium.
The teams' refusal to play on fake grass made for a lot of work.
OSU Associate Athletic Director Donald Patko, says they brought in 480 rolls of sod from New Jersey and it took nearly 22 hours of work to transform The Horseshoe into a soccer-ready stadium.
“Twenty truckloads of sod, it’s all cut on rolls. And we put a geo-tech material down to protect our synthetic material that we have in Ohio Stadium. And then we put the sod rolls right on top,” Patko said.
The event is being put on as part of a partnership between Ohio State and Relevent Sports. Neither would say how much the temporary grass field cost. But one estimate put the cost of the turf at $21,000, plus transportation and installation
Patko said all the grass will be composted after the soccer match is over.