Dayton Dragons

Project Overview

The Dayton Dragons are a minor league baseball team located in Dayton, Ohio, just short of an hour from Motz’ home base of Cincinnati. 

The Dragons moved from Illinois to Ohio and played their first game at Day Air Ballpark (formerly known as Fifth Third Field) on April 27, 2000. They solidified their popularity early on by selling out every home game before their first season opener, an accomplishment that no other minor league team in the country has ever achieved. Additionally, they’ve sold out a record 1,507 consecutive home games over the past 23 years — the longest sellout streak in North American professional sports.

During the regular season, the Dragons typically play 60+ games on their home field, a beautiful stadium that holds 8,200 dedicated fans. With one field renovation occurring in 2011, it became apparent to the franchise that their natural grass field was in need of another renovation after drainage issues emerged and seasons of wear and tear began to impact playability.

Gary Mayse, General Manager of the Dayton Dragons, and Motz had a longtime working relationship, and he trusted the Motz team to deliver a quality new field in a timely manner. With Motz’ industry expertise, customer service, and reputation in the area, it was an easy decision to collaborate on the Dragons’ new natural grass field construction project. 

Dayton, OH

High-Performance Field Renovations


Field Installation
Removal / Replacement

The Situation

For the Dragons’ future success and solidified reputation as a competitive team in the Midwest League, the franchise knew that its natural grass field needed a full reconstruction.

The baseball field at Day Air Ballpark had a number of drainage issues causing the team to lose games due to a slow functioning field drainage system. Motz was tasked with rebuilding the natural grass field to help drainage flow more smoothly and increase playability of the baseball material areas (skin, basepaths, and warning track), while also making sure the field adhered to MiLB PDL requirements (a required list of nationwide updates to minor league ballparks before 2025). 

During the field construction process, Motz faced numerous other challenges as the team tackled each phase of the rebuild process. One issue being that the field was built over an older industrial area, so there were excavation roadblocks Motz had to overcome along with winter weather obstacles. 

The Play

To develop and design a field that would support the Dragons’ players all season long, Motz worked alongside Gary Mayes and field designer, Boekholder & Associates, for over a year, to develop the right scope of work. As rebuilding a natural grass field is no small feat. 

For the Dayton Dragons’ field, it was all hands on deck. Over 900 dump trucks were on site from start to finish which meant worker safety was a top priority. Motz’ team created an access ramp to soften the slope transition into the field allowing safe access for all workers on site. 

The first order of business for the rebuild was clearing out existing drainage pipes, the rootzone, and infield materials. All in all, 4,400 tons of materials were excavated and removed from the field site. 

To rebuild the field based on the design and in alignment with MiLB PDL requirements, Motz changed the field grade by nearly 8”, installed 7,500 four inch drainage pipes, installed a new irrigation system, a sand rootzone, and fresh, new sod. 

Now, the Dayton Dragons have a beautiful new natural grass field that’s optimal for playability and drains smoothly so the team doesn’t have to worry about missing games. Instead they can focus on what really matters, winning games.

The Win

Industry Expertise:

With over 40 years of experience, Motz leads the industry in innovation, quality, and proficiency. This is possible because of the variety of skills and expertise that the Motz team brings. 

For the Dayton Dragons project, Motz was able to bring in team members with industry knowledge and extensive experience managing natural grass both at the collegiate level and in field construction management. Combining these different perspectives allowed Motz to navigate the intricacies of rebuilding the Dragons’ natural grass field

Trusted Partner:

The Dayton Dragons trusted Motz to not only deliver a quality baseball field, but to do so efficiently and within their requested timeline. Even with the large-scale reconstruction of the field, base, and drainage system, Motz’ team approached the project with key leadership skills and safety expertise that kept field construction on track and running smoothly. 

Committed to Excellence:

Whatever the project may be, Motz is committed to offering the highest quality product and experience, and that was certainly the case for the Dayton Dragons natural grass field project. While Motz navigated winter weather conditions and excavation roadblocks, the team stayed on their timeline, collaborated with the Dragons’ General Manager and designer on the job to deliver a high-performing, quality natural grass field that will carry the Dragons through many more seasons of competitive play.

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