Retractable Field

In September 2020, the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders moved into their new home at Allegiant Stadium. The team’s owner, Mark Davis, insisted on a traditional Bermuda grass playing field, which presented the challenge of maintaining live turf in an enclosed stadium. The solution was a moveable field that rolls in and out of the stadium, similar to the one Uni-Systems Engineering designed, manufactured, and installed at State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona. The field comprises a 4-feet-deep, 9,500-ton tray that houses the grass field, along with irrigation and drainage systems.

On non-game days, the field resides outdoors on the south side of the stadium, where it is irrigated and soaks up the desert sun. For game days, the field is driven into the stadium, a trip that takes approximately 65 minutes. The moveable field leaves behind a smooth concrete floor, facilitating easy space reconfiguration in the multi-use facility while the field is outdoors.

As the engineer of record, Uni-Systems Engineering designed, oversaw fabrication, and managed quality assurance for the field mechanization system. The field is supported by 540 wheels on 13 parallel rails. 72 of the wheels (located on the outside two rails) are powered with one horsepower motors, and have sufficient traction to move the field. A total of 196 spring loaded guide roller assemblies are attached to the field tray and roll along the custom center guide rail to maintain the lateral position of the field.

When the field is in the parked position (inside or outside) 16 manually operated pins assemblies are lowered into a receiver in the foundation to hold the field from moving along the rails in the event of a seismic occurrence.

General Information

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Scope of Work: Field Mechanization Design Engineer of Record
Project Client: HNTB Corporation

Project Team

Architects: MANICA Architecture, HNTB Corporation
General Contractor: Mortenson-McCarthy Joint Venture
Structural Engineer: ARUP

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