Point 21 -- Point Stadium Sod removal

A backhoe removes grass and sod at Point Stadium on Friday. Benny Palumbo, owner of Palumbo Landscaping in Pittsburgh, estimates it will take his company three weeks to remove the soil and prepare the field for installation of artificial turf.

Crews have begun digging up Point Stadium’s sod to make way for long-awaited artificial turf.

The job is the final piece of a nearly $11 million renovation that is supposed to transform the Johnstown ballpark into a multipurpose entertainment venue.

City Council last month awarded the turf project to Canada-based Sportexe Inc., which expects to have the surface in place by a June 15 deadline.

“They feel comfortable that they can meet that,” City Manager Curt Davis said.

Much of the stadium was demolished and rebuilt last year.

But officials delayed placement of artificial turf so that the All American Amateur Baseball Association Tournament, traditionally played at the Point in August, would not be interrupted.

After some hasty fundraising coordinated by the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, the city has gathered enough cash to cover the turf project at a cost not to exceed $800,000.

Officials originally had expected to salvage and sell the sod laid for last year’s AAABA Tournament. But that was not included in Sportexe’s proposal, the lowest bid submitted.

“We’re storing some topsoil (for future use),” Davis said.

Subcontractors currently are excavating the field. Preliminary work also includes installing a new drainage system.

Events scheduled at the Point this summer include AAABA League games and the city’s Fourth of July celebration.

Eventually, officials have said, the artificial turf will allow the Point to host a wide variety of events including concerts, car shows, carnivals and other community gatherings.

Trending Video

Recommended for you