London, United Kingdom - Major League Baseball took the UK by storm in late June as the Boston Red Sox hosted the New York Yankees in the two-game London Series 2019. Close to 60,000 fans gathered on the first day, making it the best-attended MLB game since 2003.
Overhauling London Stadium, originally built for the 2012 Summer Olympics, was no small feat. A new baseball field was installed over the existing running track and soccer pitch but that was just the beginning. Covermaster® helped to transform the stadium by supplying a host of products, including on deck circles, baseball field tarps, a storage tube and covers, and the entire baseball wall padding for the temporary fencing.
For six days, the Covermaster® team worked to set up the baseball fence padding, but it wasn’t a typical installation. Usually fence padding is configured based on the dimensions of an existing fence. In this case, the 16-foot high fence in certain areas had been designed by Populous architect Michael Kinard, but not built, so they had to work from drawings to customize the outfield wall padding’s unique fit, right down to each angle and cutout.
“The fence went up and it was dead on,” said Ken Curry, Covermaster® Vice President. “Project7 was responsible for the fence design and putting it up, and we worked closely with them in manufacturing and installing the padding.”
Covermaster® also worked with Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf Division, who is known for his extensive experience in sports field design, construction, and management. More than 140,000 square feet of synthetic turf covered the field, with a Clay infield protected from London’s rainy, cool conditions with Raincover Ultra™ baseball field covers.
Dual-sided in white and silver to minimize heat buildup, the lightweight infield tarp measured over 32,000 square feet. Accompanied by a TarpMate™ storage roller and weighted tarps for the home plate, pitcher’s mound and bullpens, the baseball field covers protected the dirt infield during London’s characteristic rainy days.
Though each project has its challenges, it wasn’t all new for the Covermaster® team, who had previously supplied baseball infield covers, on deck circles and stadium wall padding for the MLB’s 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. The transformation at London Stadium repeats itself June 13-14, 2020 when the second set of games between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs brings major league baseball back to Europe.
Posted July 18, 2019