Packers wait to see how concert affected Lambeau turf
The Green Bay Packers were not surprised to see about a 10-yard wide streak of brown across Lambeau Field Sunday morning. They'll know in a couple of weeks whether that concerns them.
The brown belt, which also extended down both sides of the field near the north end zone, mostly was the result of heavy equipment used to erect the stage for the Kenny Chesney concert Saturday. Something similar happened when Chesney played Lambeau Field in 2011, though Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey was not prepared to compare the two.
"We did have some wear and tear on the field. We expected that," Popkey said. "These are all things we anticipated and planned for. As the season goes on, that will be the true test."
The Packers grounds crew, led by Fields Manager Allen Johnson, will conduct intense aeration of the field to break up the packed turf, after which they'll give the grass a chance to grow. The goal is to have the field return to its lush football-playing condition by Family Night, which is Aug. 8.
"Hopefully Mother Nature helps out with ideal growing conditions," Popkey said. "It will be a little bit before we can determine the damage that really is."
The Packers have a well-earned reputation for being particular about the condition of Lambeau Field's turf. Concert promoter PMI Entertainment Group conducted several experiments with material used to cover the field for concerts before the 2011 event to allay the Packers' concerns. The concert contract covers potential damage to the field.
The team's lease allows it to control use of the field from June 1 through the end of the football season in February. The June 20 date for the Chesney concert is about as late as the team is willing to go with scheduling.
It also explains why the Brett Favre Legends Game, a flag football game between former teammates and NFL foes, will be at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on July 19, the day after Favre is inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field.
"Family Night is Aug. 8. That's why we said our window is the start of the concert season," Popkey said. "Overall, the concert was a positive experience and the Packers are pleased to be part of that."
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