The July 18th unveiling of the $120m Miller Electric Center (MEC) in Jacksonville, Florida, is more than just an addition to the city’s skyline. At a whopping 125,000 square feet, with two full-size grass practice fields and one indoor field, it marks a revolution in facility design, with Jaguars President Mark Lamping labeling it as the dawn of the “Stadium of the Future.”
A joint venture between the NFL team and the City of Jacksonville, the MEC showcases the culmination of state-of-the-art technology and design and a vision for the future of football. This world-class training center needed a world-class turf system.
As well-vetted sports field experts, Motz offers a superior and innovative product with its customizable AirPAT system. Their technology has been constantly iterated and improved over four decades of experience working with natural grass and synthetic turf. After a meticulous evaluation process, the Jaguars decided Motz was the right partner for the job.
Weather conditions vary greatly throughout the year in North Florida. Summers are hot with torrential downpours, and winters are cold, with brief periods of freezing temperatures. This presents technical difficulties with grass maintenance and field playability.
To rise above these challenges, the Jaguars organization sought to incorporate the most advanced building management system technologies into their new practice complex, including those supporting care and maintenance of their grass fields. They also wanted their field management systems to provide vacuum drainage, forced air ventilation, and soil warming.
They were so particular about their requirements that they visited several professional facilities with these technologies to evaluate them. Based on the extensive customization options Motz provided, its experience in the industry, and its state-of-the-art technology, it quickly became clear that the Motz AirPAT system was the best choice.
Once the AirPAT system was selected for the new training facility, Motz promptly sprang into action, beginning a collaboration with the owner and the design and construction team.
Weekly meetings with the project team ensured the system’s design and integration aligned with the facility plan. The AirPAT air/water separation vault was critical for the system’s vacuum and ventilation performance.
Before constructing the main building, the vault—set to be situated beneath the AirPAT equipment—had to be built first.
The installation of the AirPAT system comprised two main phases:
The process began when Motz received the field’s footprint from the site works contractor.
First, the drainage system piping network, gravel drainage layer, irrigation pipes, rootzone sand blend, and sod were assembled as the foundation for the turf.
To enhance efficiency, the field was divided into four zones for construction. This division facilitated the installation of the impermeable liner, drainage system, irrigation pipes, field sensors, and rootzone sand.
The Fan Amenity building is located under the grandstand seating, and a majority of the equipment powering AirPAT was to share space with it. This phase saw the installation of the aeration blower, motor starter panels, control panel, and submersible pumps. After setting up the equipment, electrical connections, control wires, and internet networking were integrated with the components.
System tests were conducted after installation, and training was provided to ensure optimal operation. As the users began trying out the system, Motz offered additional interface customization and performance adjustments to meet their specific requirements.
“The Miller Electric Center will be a first-class facility to support the success of our players and coaches, and The Motz Group is a key contributor to our plans. We felt their AirPAT rootzone management technology will give the turf managers the perfect tools to create safe, playable, and aesthetically pleasing bermudagrass fields year-round.”
At the end of the process, the Jaguars got two AirPAT systems – one for each field. They can run together or separately.
Groundskeepers now possess a software package accessible on any device, whether they’re onsite or offsite. These tools have everything they need to maintain a positive rootzone environment across the extremes of north Florida weather.
The Jaguars also selected customized features for moisture management, water conservation, and rootzone warming. The AirPAT software package will constantly monitor the fields’ rootzone profile conditions using a series of soil moisture, temperature, and salinity sensors placed within the subgrade piping network and the growing medium.
That’s not all. The Motz Group’s solution isn’t just scientifically and technologically forward. It is also environmentally-friendly, using water-conserving water management features, compact and efficient mechanical equipment, and a patented thermodynamic rootzone warming technology that does not require add-on equipment or an auxiliary fuel supply.
Interested in starting a project? Have questions about our process and products? Wherever you are in planning your dream field, we’re ready to walk through your specific needs, answer any questions you have, and talk through how our team of experts will be there to guide you every step of the way.