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SubAir for Sports

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One of the greatest joys on a cricket or football ground is an uninterrupted match on a lush green field. With extensive diving, sliding and the need for a predictable ball bounce, it is a MUST to have a flawless field. But when it rains before or during the match, you are almost resigned to delaying or in worst cases even cancelling the match which has become a common phenomenon…until now!

75% of the problems occur below the surface, yet 75% of the remedies are applied on the surface.

SubAir® Systems (USA) researched and created a solution to address this problem. While it is conventional to irrigate the field and provide nutrition, the challenge is to ensure that a sufficient amount of air is supplied to the root zone. With SubAir®, sub-surface aeration is achieved by forcing fresh air through the network of pipes below the surface. This significantly addresses most turf problems.

The SubAir® System also operates in Vacuum mode i.e Suction. This mode allows the system to drain water off the surface 36 times faster than gravity (apprx. 10,000 Lit/min).

When the surface is covered with turf protection tiles for non-sports events, the turf is deprived of fresh air. Since the SubAir System is constantly aerating the root zone, such events can be safely conducted while keeping the turf healthy. This enables greater revenue generation for stadiums.

M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, the first ever cricket stadium to have installed the SubAir Sports technology ensuring faster resumption of play.

The ESPN link includes an overview of the system and a brief case study: http://www.espn.in/cricket/story/_/id/18590874/chinnaswamydrainagegets makeover-tacklewetoutfields

“ Fan experience is our primary objective. Additionally, there is a risk of Rs. 80100 Crores (US$1215M) when a game gets washed out including losses to the paying public, the TV broadcasters and advertisers, instadia advertisers, etc. We believe we have addressed this challenge with the SubAir System.”

Sri. Sanjay. M. Desai

Hon. President, KSCA

Pressure Mode:

By nature of how grass grows, it is common to have brown patches, uneven density, thatch, black layers and very prone to various dSoil_Areationiseases. The SubAir Sports Field System provides stadium and playing field owners and their caretakers the ability to promote healthier, stronger, and safer turf by accelerating moisture removal and increasing the amount of oxygen to the root zone. 

Benefits of Aeration:

  • Maintaining lush green turf 365 day a year
  • Temperature moderation
  • Reducing Thatch, Black Layer, Anaerobic Conditions.
  • Deeper and stronger root system.
  • Stadium Utilization: Multi-sport & Multi-purpose.

The SubAir system can receive data from wireless sensors implanted at various points in the field and any corrective action can be taken. Automatic alerts and responses can be programmed into the system.


Vacuum Mode:

Activating the vacuum mode allows the turf manager to remove standing water in a short amount of time, remove non-capillary water from the soil profile, and introduce fresh air into the root zone. As a daily practice, the vacuum mode fosters a healthier growing medium for the plant’s roots, helping to establish stronger roots and stronger turf. 

Benefits of Vacuum Mode:

  • Enables rapid resumption of matches
  • Facilitates excess Moisture removal from the root zone

SubAir System Minimizes Potential Game Delays Due to Rain:

On Wednesday May 6, 2015 Lincoln, Nebraska was inundated with more than 6.5 inches of rain overnight. The heavy rain caused flooding all over the city and the water found its way into Haymarket Park baseball stadium leaving more than 6 inches of water covering the baseball field.

Josh Klute, the head groundskeeper, needed to get the water off the field to be able to host a three game series beginning on May 9.


The morning of May 7, 2015 the playing field was covered by almost 6” of water because the Salt Creek, where the stadium drain system discharges, was several feet above flood stage. Because of this high water level, the field could not gravity drain. The parking lots and all of the normal drainage overflows were also above normal capacity and standing in up to four feet of water in some places, leaving the baseball field as the only place for the water to go.

The first thought was to search for alternate venues that may be able to host the upcoming series of games. However the other venues were either already booked or also flooded. Thankfully, Haymarket Park is equipped with a SubAir® Sport Elite system.


Josh Klute contacted the engineers at SubAir systems and provided pictures to show what he was dealing with and to ask for advice. The SubAir team’s response was to run the SubAir System in the vacuum mode.

Josh was not sure that the SubAir could handle this amount of water and was also not sure if the system could pump the water into an already flooded Salt Creek. However after some discussion with the SubAir engineers, Josh and his crew dammed the entry ramp that the water used as an entry way to the field. Once the entry way was closed off and no more water could enter the filed, the SubAir system was activated in the vacuum mode.

Using the electric pumps in the SubAir Air/Water Separator, the water was being forced out into the overrun river. As the water in the Air/Water separator reached a safe operating level, the SubAir System operating in the vacuum mode was able to start pulling the water from the surface of the field into the subsurface drain system.

The following morning, May 8, 2015, the standing water was gone. The SubAir System had run in the vacuum mode through the night and was able to remove all of the standing water on the field along with most of the excess moisture in the soil.

By the afternoon of May 8, 2015, the grounds crew were able to resume their normal maintenance practices and get the field into playing shape for a game that was less than 24 hours away.

Without hard work of Josh and his crew and the assistance of the SubAir® Sport Elite system, it would not have been possible to host a three game series of baseball at Haymarket Park.