Aside from measuring forward progress in yards, golf and football don’t have a lot in common. But in both sports, the requirements for healthy turf are pretty much the same.

“Obviously, you have different mow heights, and different playability that you’re after,” says Brad Dennis, SubAir’s vice president of finance and project management. “What we do is give the superintendent or the groundskeeper the tools to keep the grass healthy and get it set up exactly as they want.”

Installed last summer, the system at Hard Rock Stadium is the first ever at a Super Bowl venue. It features 1.5 miles of drainage pipe, connected to a computerized control panel inside the stadium. That network of pipes pumps air in at roughly 60 miles per hour and can remove more than 18,000 gallons of water per minute — a drainage rate that Dennis says is 36-times faster than standard drainage systems.

A diagram showing the SubAir system underneath the turf at Hard Rock Stadium.


Unlike a golf course, where each green gets its own SubAir system, Hard Rock Stadium has a single, sprawling system. But Dennis says that when you do the math (using an average green size of 5,000 square feet), the amount of turf the system serves is about the same.

So is the purpose: helping keep grass in tip-top shape so athletes can do their thing.

“With this system in there, you should never get any puddling, even in a downpour,” Dennis says.

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