San Francisco Giants Partner with GreenSight to Manage Stadium Turf
Boston, M.A. (January 2, 2022) – Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, has taken to the air to better manage the quality of the turf of the major league baseball stadium. They are the first baseball stadium in the world to use GreenSight drone imagery and analytics to monitor the health and needs of their turf and playing surfaces. The Giants deployed the system in October 2021 to monitor the fields through unmanned aerial survey robots that provide real time data that lead to better field care and ultimately improve playing conditions. The system has been receiving very positive reviews from the Giants’ groundskeeping team.
“A ballpark like Oracle Park is an ideal setting for GreenSight’s TurfCloud management system,” said James VanBuskirk, vice president of golf and agricultural sales at GreenSight. “Heavy usage, shifting weather conditions and the high expectation of quality and consistency of the playing field all put pressures on the groundskeeping team. We’ve worked closely with the team on how best to effectively use the system and are extremely pleased that they have quickly seen how beneficial it can be in meeting the high bar required of them.”
GreenSight’s TurfCloud business is an end-to-end solution for professional turf management. The current systems provide integrated aerial survey robots and terrestrial sensors, all integrated around the TurfCloud application and running on GreenSight’s software platform. The aerial survey robots can fly over Oracle Park in a grid pattern in less than 10 minutes to measure temperature, moisture and salinity and feed this information, as well as video and infrared footage back to the stadium’s groundskeeping staff when it automatically returns to its docking station.
“Technology plays a huge role in what we do at the stadium,” said Greg Elliott, head groundskeeper and director of field operations for the San Francisco Giants. “We are fully committed to acting in a sustainable way for the future benefit of the whole San Francisco Bay area and we are using technology to help us achieve this. We’ve had a very successful run with the drone and sensors so far. I strongly believe we must continue to raise the bar in the area and hopefully adjust how people view managing sports surfaces in the United States. For me it’s been the game-changer.”
While Oracle Park is most closely associated with the Giants and the 81 regular season home games played there, the stadium plays host to more than 200 additional events annually, ranging from large rock concerts to corporate events and fantasy batting practices. These events take a toll on field conditions that need to quickly be identified and addressed. Often, a fantasy batting practice can occur just a few hours before players access the field prior to a game.
“We are always battling to find consistency day-in-day-out for the players benefit,” Elliott continued. “It’s our major emphasis throughout the year and achieving that consistency can be affected by the varied events that we host inside Oracle Park stadium. By incorporating the data from the drone flights and the sensors, I can now identify where to allocate my labor so it’s also helping us manage our staff resources and activities a lot better.”
A network of 12 soil sensors at the stadium connect and communicate with the aerial survey robot to provide real time data. The stadium also employs a submersible air flow system. The combination of technologies provides the groundskeeping team with critical data to achieve the consistent playing conditions players want. The system is typically deployed five days a week, providing significant data that can create additional long-term benefits for proactive maintenance and upkeep.
“I believe our water consumption is now significantly lower than most stadiums. We have more traffic through the stadium than others do and we probably use less pesticides. When you combine all these factors together and your usage is up and your inputs are down, I believe you are doing your job right,” Elliott said.
Headquartered in Boston, Mass., GreenSight is a full stack robotics company focused on expanding the commercial use of unmanned aerial robotics and using them to transform industry. With six patents and pending patents for data processing and remote sensing, the company’s products and systems including the longest endurance drone in the industry, robotic docking stations, cameras and sensors, remote piloting and scheduling systems, fast processing and machine learning, and digital transformation and analysis tools. Its systems and technology have been deployed around the world through agronomics applications including golf course and sporting venues’ turf management and through multiple U.S. Government agencies. Learn more at GreenSightAG.com.