For a few weeks in June and July the world’s attention is fixated on Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the fields athletes compete on have distinctly local Oregon ties.
At 12 stadiums in Brazil the world’s top soccer athletes are competing on meticulously manicured grass fields, all of which are the result of Oregon grass seed courtesy of DLF Pickseed USA in Halsey.
While soccer is still a burgeoning sport here, gaining in popularity every year but still considered second-tier to the big four (baseball, basketball, football, hockey), from a global perspective the World Cup is by far the biggest sporting event in the world. Garnering more attention than the World Series, Super Bowl and Olympics combined, every four years a global pandemic of football fever strikes claiming several billion victims watching teams from 32 countries compete for the World Cup crown.
DLF provided some of the seed used in the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa, but are supplying all grass seed for the 2014 event. 64 games in all will be played on 12 fields, which were seeded with 300,000 pounds of DLF ryegrasses in April. The fields are mowed daily to below an inch and treated with sand for divots to ensure an even pitch for games.
Since it is winter in Brazil, and the majority of their fields are comprised of Bermuda grass, finding a suitable grass seed capable of growing evenly in the Brazilian winter climate was a priority. Eighteen different mixtures of seed were tested before finding the optimal blend for the global event.
DLF also provides grass seed for other arenas such as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and for the University of Kentucky.
Thanks to DLF, while Team USA competes on foreign soil, they do so on Oregon’s turf.