Riverbend Music Center has become the world’s first concert venue of its size to cover its lawn – all 2.75 acres – with artificial grass.
The facility’s elaborate $750,000 system of turf, rock and drains has been in the planning stages for five years.
Installed over the last 10 weeks, the lawn is ready for the 2012 season-opener: Brad Paisley with The Band Perry & Scotty McCreery, on May 20.
At that show, concertgoers will encounter a lawn consisting of five layers: 120,000 square feet of non-flammable plastic turf; 660,000 pounds of non-toxic, acrylic-coated, round-grained, bacteria-resistant sand; two layers of crushed limestone; and 1.04 miles of drainage pipe.
The reasons behind the groundbreaking move:
» Reduce Riverbend’s carbon footprint. It eliminates the need for fertilizers, pesticides, weed-killers and gas-powered lawn mowers.
» Save money. The lawn’s grass surface annually consumed 600,000 gallons of water for irrigation and $90,000 for replacement rolls of sod.
» Extend the amphitheater’s brand. Riverbend plans to market the system to outdoor concert venues around the world.
» Sell more tickets. Projections call for a 10 percent jump in lawn ticket sales.