Nick Pappas, Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Intelligent Play works in partnership with leading artificial turf manufacturer, FieldTurf, to deliver our field management technology to their clients around the world as FieldTurf Genius.
In this video, Nick Pappas, head groundskeeper at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium shares his thoughts about Genius and how he uses it at one of the busiest stadiums in the world.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is not only home to an NFL franchise (Atlanta Falcons) and an MLS team (Atlanta United FC) but it also hosts college football as well as a range of other events. The role of maintaining a high-performance, top quality playing surface at this busy stadium falls to Nick Pappas and his team.
Installed in September 2019, FieldTurf Genius provides Nick with data and insights into the usage of the stadium field and helps him to ensure that maintenance can be carried out in the most appropriate way.
By using Genius, Nick and his team are able to carry out their duties more efficiently. They can narrow down specific areas of the field that have seen heavy traffic and can then focus their resources, often saving them time on maintenance whilst ensuring that the work they do is more targeted and therefore more beneficial.
“We might be wasting time when we’re cleaning an area or grooming an area or topdressing an area when maybe it doesn’t need it. Genius helps us narrow down and locate those areas that have been heavily trafficked and might be worn out.”
The system gives users the opportunity to manage their field using true numbers, rather than subjective data. And the usage tracking in particular is a feature that Nick appreciates when considering that, between sports events, stadium tours and other activities, he is responsible for ensuring the field is the best it can be at all times.
Nick believes that Genius will definitely help with performance and safety too. He explains that being able to access heatmaps to show the impact of usage over the previous days, weeks and months gives him a visual guide to share with his team and to ensure they are focusing their efforts into the right areas.
Consistency across the entire surface is what needs to be achieved and that doesn’t always mean the same maintenance or preventative measures that are needed in one area, will also be needed or have the same effect in another. With Genius, Nick can rely on the technology to track activity that he may not have seen and he can then work to create consistency, in particular for the players to feel confident that they’ll have the same experience across all sections of the field.
For anyone looking to take their field management to the next level, Nick recommends this technology as it allows you to stop being subjective about the status of your field. And instead, allows you to use the available data to manage your field more efficiently.
“Just the idea of Genius was impressive all around. To have something track the field, track all the usage and everything that crosses the surface from people to carts to equipment, the ability to take that and turn it into data and create maps of where we’re getting heavy traffic use is music to my ears.”