Empty Facility? Projects to Tackle During Covid-19

“This field would be perfect if nobody used it.”

A common joke made among groundskeepers and facility managers. We never could’ve imagined that becoming our reality. Now we are all missing the days when players took the field and fans filled the stands.

We are all looking forward to the day when we welcome sports back. But, let’s take this opportunity to perfect your field or facility while it’s empty. Or, simply maintain things on a high level so you’re not in the weeds once things return to normal, no pun intended. Here are some of the projects you could be tackling while your facility goes unused.

Focus on Struggle Areas

We all have them somewhere throughout our facility. Maybe it’s the nonexistent path people have created in the middle of your campus or a field that suffers from compaction during the season because of overuse. Pete Thibeault, turf supervisor at Noble and Greenough Schools, is using this time focus energy on struggle areas. Pete recommended, “Highly aerate high traffic areas or fields that get a ton of use. Aggressively aerating when you know it won’t interfere with athletes will allow you to get a step ahead of areas that suffer from compaction or use. Additionally, you can put down new seed in these areas to promote new growth. Set your crew up for success for when they return by doing the right projects in the right places”.

Parking Lots

Empty facility should mean empty lots, and that’s a rarity. Utilize this time to tackle paint projects that aren’t possible when there’s the usual hustle and bustle. Whether you want to change traffic patterns or add branding to your lot, this is the perfect time for parking lot painting projects.


Sanitation has become a topic of concern during this lockdown period, and will remain a priority for facility managers and athletes once sports return. Jason DeMink, head groundskeeper for the University of Michigan, has taken this lockdown opportunity to disinfect his fields. While the university usually disinfects their fields through a third party on a yearly basis, they decided to take the extra step during a time when they could guarantee no players would have access to the field. DeMink said, “in response to the virus, we utilized Titan TG to sanitize our synthetic turf and indoor facility. In hopes that players will return to the field soon, we wanted to ensure the field would be safe and ready to go for when that day comes”.


Depending on what resources and budget are available to you and your crew, utilize this time to complete renovation projects that may be more difficult to accomplish with a full facility. Smaller renovations may include re-sodding or lip repairs to your baseball fields. You could also address projects around the facility like fences that could use a face lift or landscape upgrades. If you’re able, possibly tackle drainage issues or conduct irrigation audits while spring showers are in full force. Again if possible, look to make major renovations like replacing or changing out infield material on your fields, or seeding a new grass variety.

General Maintenance

when the day comes, and it will be here before we know it, players will return to your field and facilities. Even with cut hours or budget you can be utilizing this time to conduct general maintenance so that your fields are in playable condition when sports return. Consider what mowing schedule and fertilizer projects may be best to conduct during this slow period. If you have limited access to your field, consider reducing mowing or slow release fertilizer. Additionally, allocate extra time for preparing your weed, pest and disease management plans. Conduct extra research or reach out to various vendors to get second opinions when you have the time to do so.

We know this time hasn’t been easy on anyone, but we hope we’re able to stay strong and positive as an industry during this time. Our fields are as resilient as the professionals who take care of them. If you’re looking for projects to tackle during this time, stay tuned for more information by following along with our social channels!