The former turf at University of Phoenix Stadium -- fresh off a Fiesta Bowl appearance -- is installed at the Cardinals' facility in Tempe.
During Bruce Arians' final retirement goodbye/monologue in which he praised players, General Manager Steve Keim and team president Michael Bidwill, the outgoing coach also slipped in a small detail about the team's practice facility.
"Building a new field already," Arians said on the day after the regular season ended.
It was true to an extent. What was happening was the transferring of the turf at University of Phoenix Stadium – the grass just used for the Fiesta Bowl – to one of the two practice fields in Tempe. It served two purposes.
The genesis is an upgrade to the waterproofing bladder at University of Phoenix Stadium, which
normally protects the steel and concrete body of the field tray that slides the field in and out of the building. To fix the bladder lining, turf manager Andy Levy and his staff removed all the grass, sand and irrigation from the tray.
Once the new liner is applied, the tray will be rebuilt with clean sand, grass and a new irrigation system. Levy said the process would take about 14 weeks.
Levy and the Cardinals also wanted to give a new start to Field 1 at the team's facility. The old grass, although cared for through the years, nevertheless was in the early stages of contamination from off-type varieties of turf. The Cardinals' crew leveled and cleaned out the field and then installed the new grass.
The Cardinals certainly benefit from any move. The turf at University of Phoenix Stadium has long been considered one of the best if not the best field in the NFL (and the Cardinals' turf dating back to Sun Devil Stadium, in fact) in the polls conducted by the NFL Players Association.
In 2015, Sports Illustrated, citing the fact players don't always get to play in every stadium (and noting that some voted on location rather than strictly playing surface) tried to do a ranking that incorporated the players' votes, current player insights and conversations with groundskeepers. University of Phoenix Stadium came out as No. 1 again.
Now it's been shared in Tempe.