Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
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In 2013, the stadium field at the National Sports Center encountered huge turf problems in the spring, to the point that a Minnesota United match on May 21 had to be played at the U of M's Robbie Stadium instead of in Blaine. This year, however, the crew at the NSC reports that the field will be ready to go.
NSC Chief Communications Officer Barclay Kruse snapped the above picture yesterday, before the snow began; despite the harsh winter, there is already a bit of green in the field, a good sign.
Through Kruse, NSC turf superintendent Curt Conkright reports that the field - which had just melted off, before today's snow - has come through the winter in good shape. It was covered with snow all winter, which helps protect the grass; it's the swings in temperature and freeze-thaw cycles, which we had none of this year, that cause havoc with the turf.
Conkright says that with some water and warmth, the field should green up nicely. He also said that the giant pile of snow that fell this morning will be helpful, counter-intuitively, as it will be wet snow that will melt into the turf quickly.
United's first home game of the spring is April 26, against Edmonton. By then, we all hope that the grass will be a little greener, and a little less snow-covered.
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