The Pontiac Silverdome Indoor Turfgrass Project:
Economic Impact Beyond World Cup 1994
Dr. John N. Rogers, III
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
Michigan State University
February 1998

In November 1991, the Pontiac Silverdome and the Detroit World Cup Bid Committee asked the Turfgrass Specialists at Michigan State University to assist them in convincing FIFA to choose the Silverdome as a site for 1994 World Cup Matches. The bid was successful, and the scientists then turned their attention to the task of putting a natural grass field inside covered stadium. After two years of research and sweat, the games were successfully held and the project was lauded worldwide. Now it is 1998, and time for another World Cup Tournament, this time in France. The idea of turfgrass indoors is still very real, much to the success of the Silverdome project. The purpose of this paper is to outline the projects involving indoor turfgrass and its benefits for the Turfgrass Program, Michigan State University, and the State of Michigan.

The indoor turf project has no doubt brought enormous attention to the University during the 1990s. The above projects have brought in over $200,000 funding to pay expenses for personnel and utilities. As we move into the 21st century armed with a patented method for maintaining this turfgrass under reduced light conditions, it stands to reason that we are well positioned to continue as leaders in this exciting area.

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