After the final pitch of each game, Tulsa Drillers head groundskeeper Gary Shepard turns his attention to the playing field. "We're into a big process here, and this is a process."
Since the Tulsa Roughnecks resurfaced this year, the Drillers and soccer club share ONEOK's pitch.
But, how is it done?
Shepard, along with a group of workers from JONESPLAN (construction service), gets to work.
First, they get the goals out. Then, they start dirt work in the infield. "We want a smooth transition there, and then after, it will settle on the infield and kind of level off to the edges," explained Shepard.
After laying tarp over the infield, the pitch takes form.
Next, locally raised sod is trucked in and layered. Laying the sod takes about seven to eight hours.
The process is very time consuming, and attention to detail is key.
Once the infield sod is finally laid down, it's flattened. Then, sand is laid and the lines are painted. "You know it pays off in the end. We've had good attendance at the games so far, so hopefully that will continue.”
For Shepard it's a lot of hard work, but after Thursday night's game at least him and the crew get a weekend off.