Since late July, nary a news week went by without a plethora of stories on the Rolling Stones’ arrival in the Garden City. Article after newscast after radio rap recounted every miniscule detail of the show, from how the band’s logistical support crews were going to erect a six-story stage in the University of Montana Grizzlies’ south end-zone to where the roadies were going to sleep.
But when the last of the pyrotechnics had fizzled and the final stoned Stones fan ambled out of Washington-Grizzly Stadium, the work was just beginning for the cleanup crews responsible for returning the football field to playing condition. And that work, says Associate Athletic Director Chuck Maes, was substantial.
“Well, it was a construction site,” Maes says. “When they were done dismantling the stage there was just a ton of screws and nails and pins and bolts left over.”
Maes says crews picked more than 25 pounds of hardware out of the stadium’s 80,000 square feet of SprinTurf—all materials left behind after the roadies had hauled away the Stone’s gigantic stage and the plywood surface that covered the sensitive playing field.
It took more than a week for facilities services workers to collect the metal pieces, plywood splinters and other debris left in the concert’s wake. Crews used wheeled magnetic bars, gas-powered sweepers and good old-fashioned elbow grease to get the Griz’s home turf safe and ready for game day. More than 1,000 pounds of rubber “dirt” infill was swept off of the field in the process, but Maes says when all was said and done the turf came out looking like new.
“It’s not an ideal situation to have a concert in the stadium during the football season, but as far as I know everything went really, really well,” he says.
But with all those roadies, would-be groupies and one-time hippies wandering around the stadium that night, we couldn’t help but ask: “Did you find any roaches?”
“No, I didn’t. And if anybody else did they weren’t fessing up to it,” Maes says.