2013 STMA Innovation Award winner SideKick USA and President and CEO Paul Carlson report that in March two of their John Deere 1025 R SideKick units were employed at state-of-the-art Al Wakrah Stadium, soon-to-be-home of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar. As soon as the two units arrived in Doha they were immediately put to use; Urban Concept Design and Aspire Sports Turf, armed with two SideKicks, were able to cover the entire playing surface in just 9 hours and 15 minutes.

“In the space of just 13 and a half hours, the pitch measuring around 7,800 square meters was moved from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Aspire Zone Foundation Turf Nursery and laid down inside the venue,” one report said.

SIDEKICK removes the need for a team of workersarmed with rakes (sometimes as many as a dozen) to manually pull and pushthe turf into place. When installed using only rakes, there will be seams between the turf that need to be filled in using sand or some other solution but not with this machine. Its turf compression plate pushes the turf from the side at a 90-degree angle using hydraulics. Now it takes roughly 7 hours to install 100,000 square feetof turf using one SIDEKICK, the company says.

Users report reduced damage to turf during installation and lower labor costs.

As stadiums continue to host multiple special events in a year to generate more revenue, the speed and quality of turnarounds becomes even more important. For example, if a concert is held at a stadium on Sunday, the field can be removed, replaced, and ready to play on Wednesday, the company says.

In late 2017, SIDEKICK USA became partners and endorsed by Rose Bowl Stadium and is currently used in over a dozen NFL stadiums as well as several MLB, MLS, and NCAA stadiums. Furthermore, our patented machine has been used before the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl, MLS All-Star Game and NCAA Football National Championship.

They say . . .

“It’s just an outstanding machine. It pushes the turf together with a consistent amount of pressure eliminating any seams and provides the field with tighter seams and the first year of using it I was able to reduce my overall costs. It’s one of the biggest innovations in turf field replacements since the introduction of big-roll sod.”— Will Schnell, Turf Superintendent, Rose Bowl

“The finished product on our field is better and safer when using SIDEKICK!” — Tony Leonard, Director of Grounds, Philadelphia Eagles

“SIDEKICK was so easy to use! After a short demo, my guys were using this machine as if they’ve been using it the entire year. Best innovation in our industry in the last 20 years!”— Wayne Ward, Turf and Grounds Manager, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

“We use to have to constantly walk the field after a re-sod to check all the seams, and now 95 to 99 percent of it is solved with this machine.”— John Nolan, Head Groundskeeper, Soldier Field, Chicago

SportsTurf