Greetings from Japan!

Happy Thursday morning from Tokyo, Japan.  Its only Wednesday night in the USA… hurry and catch up with us across the ocean!  Looking forward to the 1st ever Japanese Sports Field Manager workshop this afternoon.  No doubt some fantastic ideas will be exchanged!  

This trip to Japan has been extremely exciting and thought provoking already.  The highlights from Tuesday’s visit include: 

Tuesday:  A trip via bullet train south to Kobe, Japan.  Train travel at 200mph is certainly efficient.  The need for such travel in the USA is unfortunately a political discussion we will avoid…  But wow!  

In Kobe, we visited Noevir Stadium.  Noevir is home of Vissel Kobe of the J-League (Japanese top soccer league),  INAC Kobe Leonessa of the Japanese women’s soccer league, and the Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers of the Japanese Rugby Union top league.  Head Grounds Manager Kanji Yamanaka was very gracious with his time to show me around and share about his challenges and solutions.  Thank you to him for being so open and kind!  Noevir is extremely unique by American standards, as it is a 30,000 seat stadium with a retractable roof.  It was originally built for the World Cup in 2002.  

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Back aboard the bullet train, our next stop was Toyota Stadium in Toyota City, Japan.  It doesn’t take much to figure out that the Toyota Motor Company world headquarters is also in Toyota City.  Head Grounds Manager Mr. Osamu Tainaka ironically drives a shiny Dodge Challenger! haha.  Thank you to him for staying late to see us and for being so open as well.  Toyota Stadium is another stadium with a retractable roof, reaching a capacity of about 45,000 people.  Toyota Stadium is home to a J-League team as well, along with rugby, concerts, the FIFA Club World Cup (Toyota Cup), and multiple community events.  What an amazing structure!  

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Off to the Japanese Sports Field Managers workshop… but more updates to come on additional stadium visit!  Good night USA! 

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Growing the Revolution!

IMG_3445From Growing Green Grass Founder Jerad Minnick:

2014 is off to an amazing start!  The STMA Conference in San Antonio was one of the most exhilarating events I have ever had the privilege to attend.  New ideas are everywhere.  People are excited about new possibilities.

The Grass Field Revolution is Alive!

With the Revolution growing, I am making a professional change to dedicate more to the possibilities of natural grass fields.  Starting March 10, I am moving into the role of President at Growing Innovations full-time.  Growing Innovations (www.GrowingInnovations.Net) is an education and support firm founded for one mission:  Establishing that Grass Fields CAN Take More!

Additionally, I am heading the Grass Stain Preservation Initiative to soon be introduced.  This initiative is designed to educate about the possibilities of grass fields at the grass-roots level: coaches, players, parents, and administrators.  This blog, Growing Green Grass, will also be expanding to provoke more thought. Growing Green Grass will provide additional free information about the possibilities of natural grass fields to those in need, in particular at the grass-roots level.

Leading the Grounds Management team at Maryland SoccerPlex has been an amazing experience.  Over and over again, our SoccerPlex team has achieved the “impossible”.  I am proud of how the SoccerPlex organization has been able to re-defined what is possible for high traffic natural grass fields.  There is no doubt the team and the facility will continue to improve and grow, and I am excited to be able to continue working with them in an agronomic support capacity.

Next week I am off to Japan to collect and share ideas, followed with a trip to Germany and France the following week as well.  Stay tuned for updates sharing the successes with high traffic fields in those countries and join the discussion on creating new possibilities for natural grass fields.

Happy Friday!