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About this blog

TurfNet News and Education Director John Reitman and his assistant, daughter Lauren, travel to Pasadena to work on the grounds crew for the 2020 Rose Bowl.

Entries in this blog

Success at the Rose Bowl all about relationships

Success at the Rose Bowl all about relationships

The field crew and representatives from Brandt at the Rose Bowl. Photos by Lauren Reitman Relationships don't bloom overnight. Like a sprig of Bermudagrass, they take time to cultivate. Shown the proper attention and care, eventually they can blossom and mature. That's how Rose Bowl field superintendent Will Schnell and Brandt territory manager Michael Steve look upon their relationship. "Typically if I'm within 100 miles, I'll just pop over to make sure everything's good. Not that th

John Reitman

John Reitman

Coliseum is a dream job for grounds manager

Coliseum is a dream job for grounds manager

Working at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a dream job for Scott Lupold. On the last day of our (almost) week at the Rose Bowl helping superintendent Will Schnell's team prep for the big game, we visited with Scott Lupold, who is in his dream job as the grounds manager at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. We wanted to learn more about the challenges he faces at the other venue that makes Los Angeles a great college football city. A lifelong USC fan, he remembers sitting in

John Reitman

John Reitman

The Rose Bowl is more than just a job for this extended family

The Rose Bowl is more than just a job for this extended family

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM AT INSTAGRAM.COM/TURFNET FOR MORE PHOTOS   There is a sign posted on the fence leading onto the Rose Bowl field that reads "Please pardon our mess. We're trying to grow grass." There is perhaps no place in the country better at doing just that. But what happens inside that fence is about a lot more than just growing grass. The team charged with producing the world's most famous field is a tightly knit group that redefines the term extended family. After near

John Reitman

John Reitman

Postgame checklist: Mow, fertilize, order sod

Postgame checklist: Mow, fertilize, order sod

Will Schnell's team sweeps the field free of divots and tufts of turf after the halftime performance by the Oregon and Wisconsin bands. We knew the field at the Rose Bowl was special, but carving out a piece to take home?  The 106th Rose Bowl Game is in the books, but the work is not over for the men who made it possible. Only a month old, the newly sodded field held up under the pressure of two marching bands, a hard-fought game that went down to the final play and a post-game c

John Reitman

John Reitman

Superintendent flips golf course to parking, party area and back again

Superintendent flips golf course to parking, party area and back again

Immediately after the 106th Rose Bowl Game, we went over to Brookside Golf Club just outside the north end zone of the stadium in Pasadena, California to visit with superintendent George Winters. Each year for the Rose Bowl, UCLA home football games, concerts and several other events throughout the year, Winters and his team convert parts of the 36-hole Brookside property into parking and tailgate areas. When the events are over, his team works throughout the night to turn all 36 holes

John Reitman

John Reitman

It's here! (finally)

It's here! (finally)

The Goodyear blimp makes an appearance on New Year's Day. Photos by Lauren Reitman Finally, it's here. Today is game day at the Rose Bowl. The staging area for the Rose Parade is just about a mile from the stadium, and while tens of thousands of people camped out overnight to hold their spot to view the parade, New Year's Day is hardly a day of leisure for superintendent Will Schnell, assistant Miguel Yepez and their crew.  The day is scheduled to start around 8 a.m. with an

John Reitman

John Reitman

Teacher has a passion for tending Rose Bowl field at work and at home

Teacher has a passion for tending Rose Bowl field at work and at home

High school teacher Geoff Thran, also a groundskeeper at the Rose Bowl, creates a replica of the Rose Bowl field every year on his lawn. Talk about taking your work home with you. When Rose Bowl groundskeeper Geoff Thran leaves the stadium after a long day of work, he goes home to a smaller version of the field he just left. A high school health teacher at Mountain View High School in El Monte, California, Thran also is a part-time groundskeeper at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And

John Reitman

John Reitman

The man behind the goalposts

The man behind the goalposts

One of the folks who helps make things run in preparation for the Rose Bowl is George Wiley. A retired Pasadena Police officer, Wiley has been around many a Rose Bowl - as a police officer, working security for the game and also as part of superintendent Will Schnell's team. He also is an entrepreneur who started his own company, First Down Football Products and developed a few things used around the Rose Bowl that are used almost daily, including stencils for painting numbers and metal gua

John Reitman

John Reitman

A little luck helps the Rose Bowl team stay ahead of schedule

A little luck helps the Rose Bowl team stay ahead of schedule

After being dealt a lucky hand with no frost or rain, the team removes the tarps long before sunrise. Photos by Lauren Reitman After four days at the Rose Bowl, I'm continually amazed at how people are so awestruck by a 2,5-acre plot of turf. There are tours running through this place all the time, and the field is the big draw for them. They can get to the fence ringing the field, but not on the turf itself. So close, yet so far away.. When both teams visited the stadium Monday, firs

John Reitman

John Reitman

Sunday Funday includes parade prep and tarps

Sunday Funday includes parade prep and tarps

Work continues on an Oregon football float. Photos by Lauren Reitman Sunday was tabbed "Sunday Funday" at the Rose Bowl for the two teams competing in the 106th edition of college football's oldest postseason game. We took a queue from the Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers and wandered across the street from the stadium to the Rose Bowl float-staging area. I've watched the Rose Bowl for generations and know all about the ground rules of using primarily organic matter to decorate the

John Reitman

John Reitman

Painting day in the books

Painting day in the books

Chris Chang double checks measurements for the crosshatch at the 35 yard line. Things finally got going Saturday on painting day as the time on the clock got closer to 9 than 8. After a quick team meeting led by assistant superintendent Miguel Yepez, who, make no mistake about it, was running this show, a team of about 20 that included some folks borrowed from other departments set off on their assignments, painting yard lines, hash marks, sidelines, end lines, logos and 10-yard markers. 

John Reitman

John Reitman

Frost slows things down on painting day

Frost slows things down on painting day

Cloudy skies and cold temperatures postponed the start of painting day by nearly an hour. Photos by Lauren Reitman "Good work, good work," Will Schnell mutters at a tone that is barely audible as he inspects the recently applied paint job at the Rose Bowl Stadium.  Yard lines, hash marks, end zones and logos appeared flawless in an inspection tour Schnell was taking earlier than he had wanted. Even the 100-plus-year-old history and tradition of the Rose Bowl Game is no match for Mothe

John Reitman

John Reitman

Day 1: Getting our marching orders and an update on the weather

Day 1: Getting our marching orders and an update on the weather

A quick mow before painting the field again. Albert Hammond made a name for himself in the early 1970s singing a hit tune that perpetuated the myth that it never rains in Southern California. In fact, his song rose to No. 5 on the Billboard Top 100 as he spread this disinformation. In reality, as Hammond says later in the chorus, "it pours." The first day volunteering for Rose Bowl field superintendent Will Schnell and his team as they get ready for the 106th Rose Bowl on New Yea

John Reitman

John Reitman

History, tradition and pageantry are Rose Bowl's attraction

History, tradition and pageantry are Rose Bowl's attraction

Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, here discussing strategy with one of his players, led the Fighting Irish to a 27-10 win over Stanford in the school's only Rose Bowl appearance on New Year's Day, 1925. TurfNet will soon be headed to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena as part of field superintendent Will Schnell's crew in the run-up to the New Year's Day game between Oregon and Wisconsin thanks to our partners at Brandt. Coverage will focus on efforts to prep the world's most famous field for college

John Reitman

John Reitman

Sod grown on plastic helps Rose Bowl provide strongest possible playing surface

Sod grown on plastic helps Rose Bowl provide strongest possible playing surface

Growing Bandera Bermudagrass sod on plastic promotes lateral growth that produces a playing surface with high tensile strength. Photos by West Coast Turf Thanks to tremendous advancements in strength training and nutrition, today's college athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than their predecessors. In fact, it is difficult to imagine many things stronger than a 300-pound lineman.  At least where the Rose Bowl is concerned, you can start with the playing surface underneath his fe

John Reitman

John Reitman

Buckle up as TurfNet heads to Pasadena

Buckle up as TurfNet heads to Pasadena

What do Augusta National Golf Club and the Rose Bowl have in common? Each is widely regarded as having the finest playing surface for its respective marquee event. The greens at Augusta during the Masters Tournament are the envy of golfers everywhere and the bane of golf course superintendents. The playing surface for the Rose Bowl Game is regarded as the finest in college football and has been dubbed "The World's Most Famous Field." Although many superintendents have prepped at August

John Reitman

John Reitman

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