The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

BEACON Ballfields Exclusive Weekly Tips ! ( August ’17 ) !

August 28, 2017       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |    Ballfields.com

THIS WEEK’S FIELD TIP

We all get busy. And there’s no doubt there are areas of neglect around your fields. It happens to the best of us. But it’s a matter of how quickly you catch up that makes the difference. If lips formed at your infield skin / turf edge and you didn’t make time to cut those down, then now is a great time to attack those lips.

Ideally, you were able to keep them under control. Lips affect playability with bad hops, but they also affect drainage which can lead to all sorts of other problems. With your seasons winding down, now is a great time for getting a handle on any lips that may have formed this summer. We have great information in general about lips, but then also specifically how to remove them. To learn more, keep reading at our Groundskeeper University lesson, 103. Lip Management: How to Remove Lips at GroundskeeperU.com

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles andGroundskeeperU.com for online training.

Deluxe Chain & Flip Indicator — 10% OFF

Flip Indicator is completely padded for safety. High visibility, two color numerals. They bend but will not break. Plated chain and swivel hooks eliminate kinks and knots and will stand up to inclement weather.  Exclusive Deluxe Chain & Flip Indicator, use flip10 during checkout (offer valid thru September 3).

Lacrosse Goal Cart — 10% OFF

The backsaver. Moving a goal has never been easier — just takes one person. Even the heaviest goal is easy to move. This cart is so easy to use, only one person is needed to move most clumsy-heavy goal — and their back will live to tell about it. It’s solid steel base safely supports the goal. Exclusive Lacrosse Goal Cart, use lax10 during checkout (offer valid thru September 3).

OPEN BOX ITEM OF THE WEEK

OPEN BOX Item — Deluxe Double Stanchion Pitching Rubber — SAVE $50!   Pitching rubber set includes double 1-1/2″ ground anchor. Brand-new condition. Deluxe Double Stanchion Pitching Rubber

ONLINE TRAINING for Staff & Volunteers

COMPLETELY FREE & MOBILE FRIENDLY. We’ve relaunched the web’s premier online field maintenance training tool, Groundskeeper University. Our goal is to bring professional training directly to you and your staff. But that means it has to be done right. Learn the tried & true practices of the pros. Our dedicated online resources by groundskeepers for groundskeepers are available in whichever format works for you: blog articles, online field dimensions, innovative products and training at Groundskeeper U. Whatever you need for your ballfield, think Beacon. 

Visit Groundskeeper University!

Get the Ultimate Ballfield Resource…

If you need it for your field, you’ll find it here. Request your copy today. Our 2017 catalog is a complete listing of products to keep you rolling with everything you need all season long.

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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Dodgers to Offer Poutine Fries and Other Food Specials During Players Weekend Aug. 25-27 !

The Los Angeles Dodgers are offering up new food items like poutine fries, Cuban hot dogs, and speciality cocktails for their three-game weekend series, Aug. 25-27 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Dodgers to Offer Poutine Fries and Other Food Specials During Players Weekend Aug. 25-27
Getty Images
A food vendor cooks hot dogs. The Los Angeles Dodgers will offer new food options for their three-game weekend series, Aug. 25-27 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Too much good stuff.

No, it’s not AMPM, (although they are a sponsor), it’s Dodger Stadium, and for one weekend only they will offer some new food options for the Los Angeles based crowd.

The Boys in Blue will host the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-game weekend series at the Ravine that could have potential playoff implications.

Milwaukee is currently 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central division and are only three games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second Wild Card spot.

The Dodgers have the best record in baseball and are chasing history as they are on pace to tie or beat the MLB record for wins in a single season. Another series win over the Brewers could send the Brew Crew reeling, or a surprise series victory over L.A. could elevate them back into the playoff picture.

For fans heading to the Ravine this weekend to catch the three-game series, Dodger Stadium will offer a handful of new food options such as Poutine Fries, new vegetarian options, custom cocktails, and a Cuban themed hot dog.

For our friends from north of the border, the poutine fries will be located on field and reserve levels in sections, 22, 23 and 32, respectively.

The popular Candaian dish features Golden fries topped off with beef gravy, cheese curds, garlic aioli and green onion.

In honor of Health Care Appreciation Night on Friday, the Dodgers will add new vegetarian options to their menu like salads, roasted vegetable sandwiches and flatbreads, as well as fruit and veggie cups. The items will be available on all levels and locations.

Saturday is L.A. Kings night at the Ravine as members of the two-time Stanley Cup Champion team will be in attendance.

In honor of the royalty, the Dodgers will offer specialty cocktails featuring Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey and Coke.

The custom cocktail will be available at bars located on the field, loge, reserve and top deck sections.

Finally, Sunday is Cuban Appreciation Day at Dodger Stadium and fans in attendance will be able to purchase a “Cuban Hot Dog” at concession stands throughout the stadium.

The “Cuban Hot Dog,” is similar to a Cuban sandwich, and will feature an all beef hot dog with pulled pork, ham, pickles and Dijon mustard.

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A $44M youth sports complex might go in at Upper Valley Mall site !

A study released by the Chamber of Greater Springfield, OH. on Thursday proposes building a $44 million youth sports complex at the site currently occupied by the Upper Valley Mall.

The project would likely take years to develop if it moves forward, said Michael McDorman, president and CEO of the chamber. But if successful, he said it would lead to new hotels, restaurants and retail and would make Clark County a top destination for youth and amateur sports tournaments.

“It could be a game-changer for our area,” McDorman said.

Most of the project would be publicly funded and it could be as much as a decade before the site would be operational, McDorman said. It’s not yet clear how funding would work and the project would need the public’s support before moving forward.

Although there have been initial discussions with the mall’s ownership to notify them about the proposal, other sites would also be considered.

“This just starts the dialogue on, ‘Where do we go?” McDorman said.

Officials from the Upper Valley Mall declined to comment Thursday afternoon.

The study envisions developing about 83 acres of property for the complex. It would include a 95,000-square-foot indoor facility with six basketball courts and 12 volleyball courts, along with space for an entertainment center and concessions.

Another 38 acres outside would include eight synthetic turf baseball fields, eight multipurpose fields, and support and maintenance buildings. It would also include about 43 acres with close to 1,700 parking spaces.

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau formed a sports tourism committee last year to look for options to draw more sports tournaments to Clark County. The Clark County Convention Facilities Authority approved a roughly $50,000 grant to cover the study, which was conducted by Florida-based Sports Facilities Advisory.

Local officials had also studied options to draw more conventions and meetings to downtown Springfield, said Chris Schutte, vice-president of destination marketing for the chamber and visitor’s bureau. But that industry is more competitive, he said, and sports tourism offered a better opportunity to lure visitors from across the region.

He argued amateur and youth sports was one of the few industries that thrived even when the national economy soured several years ago.

“As we kept looking at it, we thought we would be crazy not to go after this,” Schutte said.

The project would require an annual $2 million subsidy to operate, according to the report.

As proposed, the complex would be larger than needed to serve the immediate area, said Daniel Morton, project manager for SFA. It could serve visitors within about 240 miles, and Morton said the report showed the venue is expected to generate about $2 in direct spending from visitors for every $1 spent to build and operate the facility.

The report estimates the complex would generate about $15 million in direct spending the first year and $20 million after five years.

The complex would also lead to a spike in sales tax dollars, McDorman said, and other revenue for the community as visitors spend nights in hotels, shop at local businesses and eat at restaurants throughout the area.

“There is a huge return on investment that offsets that subsidy,” McDorman said.

The current mall location became the preferred site for the proposed complex because it’s easily accessible for visitors, has infrastructure in place and is close to several businesses on both Upper Valley Pike and nearby Bechtle Avenue, Schutte said.

The Clark County land bank, a nonprofit set up by the county, has purchased property previously owned by Macy’s at the mall. The rest of the mall property is privately owned and Sears also owns its property at the site.

If the project moves forward, Schutte said more hotels would have to be developed in the area to accommodate out-of-town visitors. The report projects the activities hosted by the new sports complex would create more than 42,000 new hotel room visits by the fifth year and would continue to do so annually afterward.

“I envision it reinvigorating the entire corridor all the way to U.S. 68,” Schutte said.

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
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Park District of Highland Park, IL. cancels tackle football after sharp registration decline !

Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

The Park District of Highland Park, IL. has scrubbed its tackle football program this fall due to a drop-off in participation attributed to concerns about the risk of head injuries.

“Our enrollment declined so much with everything that has been going on in football that the tackle program will not be taking place in 2017,” said Liza McElroy, executive director of the park district, during a park board meeting Tuesday.

The park district offered the tackle football program to fifth through eighth grade students in collaboration with the Highland Park High School football staff. Teams have competed in the Central Suburban Youth Football League.

McElroy said the traveling program drew more than 150 participants at its peak. “We fielded a ton of teams and Little Giants has always been a big tradition,” McElroy said.

However, the number of registrations dropped to 54 in 2015 and to 33 in 2016. This year, the program — set to take place from August through late October — was canceled after the number of participants dropped to 11.

“People are not playing tackle football anymore,” observed McElroy, noting that fall baseball enrollment has more than tripled in the past two years.

The downward trend seen in tackle football has not carried over to the park district’s flag football program for first through eighth graders. In flag football, instead of tackling players to the ground, a defensive player removes a flag or flag belt from the opposing team member who is carrying the ball.

One park district commissioner raised concern that players who haven’t been taught how to properly block or tackle before high school might be more prone to injuries on the football field.

“I don’t know what statistics would show, but that would seem to put a lot of pressure on coaches,” said Terry Grossberg. “I think it would lead to more injuries at the high school level if the kids go out inexperienced in how to hit or how to tackle.”

Christine Gonzales, director of communications for Township High School District 113, said the downward trend is not as evident at the high school level.

“We have been able to maintain healthy numbers in our football program throughout the years, and we do not expect this to change,” she said.

Addressing the concussion issue last year, park administrators said the agency was following the recommendations of its liability insurance carrier, the Park District Risk Management Agency, and providing outlets for prospective players and parents to learn about the associated risks.

Amateur Update: Shortage of Officals a trend locally and nationally !

Rochester, MN. – When facilitating tournaments, it’s important to have experienced and qualified officials working the games. To accomplish this, we have great assignors in the area who have always done a great job behind the scenes filling up all the game slots.

Unfortunately, finding enough refs to fill tournament slots has increasingly become a challenge in the last year. f the trend continues, the tournament opportunities currently available to our youth may be jeopardized.

In the Rochester area, the shortage of local refs requires the use of more out-of-town officials than ever before. For several of our summer tournaments, we had to use crews out of the Minneapolis area to fill out the game schedules

It seems to be a significant issue across all sports.

This can be attributed to several reasons. Mostly, many officials are finding it not worth the hassle as the pressure from coaches and parents has become increasingly intense. When planning for future events, this seems to be a major issue not too many people are talking about, probably because everyone expects that officials showing up to the game is just a given.

As we move forward, there are steps being taken to help train, educate and build the base of officials at all levels and all sports. One up-and-coming non-profit organization in Rochester is Official Love. The organization is founded by Sports Commission board member Kristopher Loving and the mission is to serve communities, families, and individuals through the support, recruitment, retention, and development of sports officials.

I know they have some great plans and ideas in place on how they can begin to grow officiating from the ground up. When looking at current officiating challenges, this organization may be just what is needed in our community.

If you are a parent with kids who will be competing in the future, this is definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward. I know at the Sports Commission it has become a concern when we move forward and work with local groups on running events and look to create opportunities to bring new events to Rochester.

It’s comforting knowing there are people in the area who share the concern about the lack of officials, and groups such as Official Love looking to make a difference in this area. More information on this organization can be found at www.official-love.org.

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Outdoor Industry Association Releases State-By-State Outdoor Recreation Economy Report !

Across all fifty states, reports show a thriving outdoor recreation economy generating billions in consumer spending annually and supporting millions of American jobs.

BOULDER, Colo. – July 26, 2017 – Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today released the state-level Outdoor Recreation Economy Report featuring economic data for all 50 states across the United States, the largest and most comprehensive state-by-state report of its kind. The data underscores a growing economic force that generates billions in consumer spending and directly contributes millions of good-paying, American jobs in communities across the country.

Earlier this year, OIA released its national Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, which found that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually and directly sustains 7.6 million American jobs. The state report released today offers a deeper look into a thriving sector that’s helping to create healthier economies and healthier communities.

“No matter your political affiliation, where you live or your walk of life, the outdoors brings us together,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “From Maine to California, consumers are spending more on outdoor recreation as millions of Americans depend on it for their livelihoods. Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine that contributes to businesses and healthy communities in each and every state and is a vital and sustainable sector that relies on investing in and protecting America’s public lands and waters.”

Here are the highlights from the state report:

State

Annual Consumer Spending (in billions)

Direct Jobs

% of Residents Participating in Outdoor Recreation Each Year

California

$92.0

691,000

56%

Colorado

$28.0

229,000

71%

Idaho

$7.8

78,000

79%

Kentucky

$12.8

120,000

61%

Maine

$8.2

76,000

70%

Minnesota

$16.7

140,000

70%

Montana

$7.1

71,000

81%

New Hampshire

$8.7

79,000

69%

New Mexico

$9.9

99,000

65%

New York

$41.8

313,000

52%

North Carolina

$28.0

260,000

56%

Oregon

$16.4

172,000

69%

Utah

$12.3

110,000

72%

Vermont

$5.5

51,000

72%

Virginia

$21.9

197,000

57%

Washington

$26.2

201,000

72%

Wyoming

$5.6

50,000

73%

All 50 state reports can be viewed here.

“The outdoor recreation economy continues to thrive across rural and urban America,” said REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke. “These new state-by-state numbers show how Americans from every corner of the country love to spend time outdoors. People from all backgrounds continue to hike, camp, boat, fish, ski, and paddle. You name it. It’s a rich part of the nation’s heritage. And when we follow our passion and opt outside, we create economic activity across all 50 states. This is a sustainable, growing sector of the economy—one that drives positive return-on- investment throughout the country.”

With the outdoor recreation economy poised to continue to grow, there are actions that can be taken to support its positive economic impact. OIA urges elected policymakers to do the following:

Adequately fund state and local parks and trails to make them attractive and accessible to families and friends seeking to get outside.

Take steps to raise awareness of the importance of the outdoor recreation economy.

Develop and plan urban areas in a way that means every citizen can get outside and recreate within 30 minutes of their home.

Support policies that encourage outdoor innovators to start businesses.

Outdoor Industry Association issued the first Outdoor Recreation Economy state-level report in 2012 and has made significant improvements to the report since then. This second edition of the state report takes a broader view of the growing industry and its shifting demographics. The sample that was drawn for this study was designed to represent the U.S. population on the basis of gender, age, education and race.

Respondents were solicited through Survey Sampling International (SSI), a longtime leader in survey research. The report was made possible through the generous support of REI, Patagonia, The North Face, W.L. Gore, People for Bikes, The Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and The Outdoor Foundation.

About Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Industry Association unites and serves over 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.

 Courtesy Recreation Management Magazine

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BEACON Ballfields Exclusive Weekly Tips ! ( Aug. ’17 )

August 21, 2017       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com

THIS WEEK’S FIELD TIP

As baseball and softball seasons are winding down around the country, many sports turf managers are contemplating annual fall renovation of their ballfields to prepare them for next spring’s season. Often it means putting the field to bed for the winter ready to play for next spring. Part of that renovation often includes edging the infield skinned turf edges.

Don’t be afraid to be creative. Cut your field grass edges in a way that minimizes your wear and works to your field maintenance advantage. To learn more, continue reading our article, Cut It Out! at Ballfields.com

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles andGroundskeeperU.com for online training.

Cross-Over Zone® Track Protectors — 10% OFF

Maximum protection from cleats & field equipment. Porous material allows rain and other liquids to drain through. Steel chain edge adds weight to the crossover protector. Exclusive Cross-Over Zone® Track Protectors, use cross10 during checkout (offer valid thru August 27).

Heavy-duty Football Stencil Kits — 10% OFF

Perfect for marking and remarking of athletic fields. Cut 1/8″ high-grade plastic material makes these stencils virtually indestructible. Exclusive Heavy-Duty Stencil Kits, use stencil10 during checkout (offer valid thru August 27).

OPEN BOX ITEM OF THE WEEK

OPEN BOX Item — Soccer Corner Flag Sets, Rubber Base — SAVE $40!   These were returned due to customer error only. These 60″ corner flags have a weighted rubber base — sold as set of 4.  Brand-new condition. Soccer Corner Flag Sets, Rubber Base

ONLINE TRAINING for Staff & Volunteers

COMPLETELY FREE & MOBILE FRIENDLY. We’ve relaunched the web’s premier online field maintenance training tool, Groundskeeper University. Our goal is to bring professional training directly to you and your staff. But that means it has to be done right. Learn the tried & true practices of the pros. Our dedicated online resources by groundskeepers for groundskeepers are available in whichever format works for you: blog articles, online field dimensions, innovative products and training at Groundskeeper U. Whatever you need for your ballfield, think Beacon. 

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
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Aramark kicks off new menu items !

Slideshow: Aramark kicks off new menu items

BY MEAT+POULTRY STAFF 

In addition to its just-announced All-Day Brunchin’ items being launched at many NFL stadiums this season, Aramark also added some new innovative concession items with hometown and regional twists.

  • Cola-braised Short Rib Mac and Cheese will be offered at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium as will the Loaded Potato Skin Burger;
  • Leinies Dog or Brat will be available at the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field;
  • The Pittsburgh Cheesesteak Burger and three varieties of the Pittsburgh Pierogi will be offered to Pittsburgh Steelers fans at Heinz Field;
  • A Pork Belly Sandwich will be offered to Philadelphia Eagles fans attending games at Lincoln Financial Field;
  • And Cincinnati Bengals fans will be offered the Sonoran Foot Long Hot Dog as well as Taco Tots during home games at Paul Brown Stadium.

Aramark partners with 14 National Football League teams to provide food and beverage concession services at their respective home stadiums. Aramark will also be the exclusive food and beverage and retail provider for Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium.

Click here to view the slideshow.

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Minor League Park to Become Temporary Golf Course !

 

Screenshot 2017-08-18 13.19.51Buffalo, NY – Coca-Cola Field will again be turned into a golf course, of sorts, with the return of the “The Links at Coca-Cola Field,” from Sept. 15 through Sept. 17.

The nine-hole, par-27 course is a unique experience where golfers will take swings from eight tee boxes located around the ballpark, including home plate and the right-field party deck. This year’s updated course includes three club-level shots as well as different pin placements. The course includes a one-hole putting challenge in the Bisons indoor batting cages.

Each hole will feature a theme, including “extras” such as crowd noise or unfavorable weather conditions. A new theme, the “double down” hole, will dare golfers to bet on themselves, allowing good shots to be scored better (pars as birdies and birdies as aces) but bad shots will be turned worse (bogeys become double bogeys and doubles become triples).

Putting Hole No. 8 will be the “Disco Ball” hole where golfers will hit neon balls through a green illuminated only by disco lights.

Mulligans can be purchased before the round, allowing a second chance at any hole, with the exception of the “Double Down” hole. Each mulligan costs $5, with a maximum of two per golfer, with proceeds going to the Buffalo Bisons Charitable Foundation.

A round of golf at The Links at Coca-Cola Field will cost $55 per golfer and include a special Links at Coca-Cola Field golf towel and cap, a logo OnCore golf ball, a post-round beverage, parking and two Bisons 2018 Opening Day tickets. A premium package, which will also include a limited edition Links at Coca-Cola Field shoe bag, is $85 per golfer.

Tee times are available online at LinksAtCocaColaField.com and at Bisons.com. Times available are from 6-10 p.m. Sept. 15; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. on Sept. 16; and 8 a.m. to noon on Sept. 17.

The course:

No. 1: Stepping to the Tee (Par 3, 80 yards): Golfers’ names and hometowns will be announced to the gallery.

No. 2: BuffaLove (Par 3, 65 yards): Take your swing wearing either a football, hockey or baseball helmet.

No. 3: Caddyshack (Par 3, 135 yards): Enjoy a craft beer sample from Resurgence Brewing.

No. 4: NOONAN!!! (Par 3, 100 yards): Test your concentration with a little extra crowd noise.

No. 5: A Toast to the King (Par 3, 72 yards): Mix your own “Arnold Palmer” in honor of one of the greatest golfers that ever lived.

No. 6: The “Double Down” (Par 3, 124 yards): Option to bet on yourself. Hole will be scored Birdie 1, Par 2, Bogey 5, Double Bogey 6.

No. 7: Not Coming Down for Quite Some Time (Par 3, 103 yards): A little extra ‘weather’ added for this tee shot.

No. 8: A Disco Ball (Par 3, 19 feet): Using a Happy Gilmore-esque hockey stick putter, put a neon golf ball in a hole lit only by disco lights.

No. 9: The Cinderella Boy (Par 3, 81 yards): Line up this last shot and knock it in. Hole-in-one wins a $250 Bisons gift card.

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Cut It Out ! . . Ballfield Renovations !

As baseball and softball seasons are winding down around the country, many sports turf managers are contemplating annual fall renovation of their ballfields to prepare them for next spring’s season. Often it means putting the field to bed for the winter ready to play for next spring. Part of that renovation often includes edging the infield skinned turf edges.

Many of you rely on Beacon’s “Ballfield Dimensions & Resource Guide or the online version for the dimensions needed to measure all of your cutouts. Dimensions listed in our guide are for the most part collected right from the governing body’s rule book. However, many of those measurements are actually just recommendations, not absolute measurements. In those cases the discretion is actually up to the groundskeeper to determine what he or she wants the dimensions to be based on wear patterns and other preferences unique to their ballfields.

Major League Baseball’s actual Rule #2.01 reads: “The grass lines and dimensions shown on the diagrams are those used in many fields, but they are not mandatory and each club shall determine the size and shape of the grassed and bare areas of its playing field.” Don’t be afraid to be creative. Cut your field grass edges in a way that minimizes your wear and works to your field maintenance advantage.

For more information and stories about this topic, listen to Beacon’s Diamond DaVincis podcast from July 28, 2016, titled “Cut It Out!” Paul and Theresa’s guest is Minnesota Twins Head Groundskeeper Larry DiVito. Together they explore and explain this topic with a few humorous stories thrown in.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of “Groundskeeper University”, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.

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