CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The home of the Charleston Riverdogs saw some much needed renovations during the off-season.
For the most part, those renovations focused on the sand and turf on the field.
“Due to the settlement of the infield, we have to reconstruct the infield to bring it up to professional baseball association specifications,” said Jason Kronsberg, Director of Parks for the City of Charleston.
A special turf was developed for “The Joe,” it’s called Latitude 36 and it was grown in Sumter County.
“It was over-seeded with rye in the nursery and before they cut the sod and rolled it, we knew that it was going to be green and ready to play on soon after we put it down,” Kronsberg said.
There’s no structural foundation underneath the park, so the sand tends to sink into the ground.
The contractor pulled up the turf and discovered the sank had sunk by about 8 inches.
“Due to the fact that it’s built on a landfill, and it does settle a couple inches every year, about the 4 to 5 year mark it starts to go out of tolerance for those baseball standards,” Kronsberg said.
The sand was removed and replaced by tons of newer material. This isn’t the first time the turf and sand have had to be replaced, it happened in 2002 and again in 2012.
While the piping was holding up pretty well from 2012 with only a few problem areas in right field, new piping was put in in hopes these pipes will last longer.
Some of the irrigation connections start to break, some of the drainage pipe connections start to break because where the field ties into the stadium, there’s no flex, so we’ve added flex connections this time, so hopefully we’ll get longer out of it,” Kronsberg said.
The project cost about 1.1 million dollars and that money came from the city’s tourism taxes.