Saturday, July 13, 2002

Graham mission indebted to sod


Stadium must replace grass under stage area

By Dan Klepal, dklepal@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The nation's pastor will get a $25,000 bill for sod replacement at Paul Brown Stadium.

        The Rev. Billy Graham, who held a four-day mission in the football stadium last month, will pay for new grass and for the work grounds crews did to nurse back some of the damaged turf.

        About 12,000 square feet of sod — enough to replace the center of the field between hash marks — will be shipped from New Jersey Tuesday. The strips of dirt, sand and grass should be installed by Wednesday night.

        The turf being replaced is in front of where the stage sat and underneath the plywood “road” that was built leading to it.

        Stadium head groundskeeper Doug Bradley said the sod should be integrated with the existing grass in two to three weeks.

        Eric Brown, stadium director, said the staff gave a $98,000 estimate to the Graham mission.

        “It turned out much better than we thought,” said Mr. Brown, who is no relation to Bengals' owner Mike Brown. “We saved everything under the stage and on the sidelines.”

        Hamilton County officials have until the end of the month to submit a bill to the Graham mission. If more of the turf they hope to save dies, the mission will pay for it.

       



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