If you ever wondered what it takes to keep the grounds at the Chief’s stadium looking perpetually spiffy, look no further than Chiefs’ Head Groundskeeper Travis Hogan. He and his crew help ensure Arrowhead looks its very best for home games. And since neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will ever keep the team from playing, that means Travis is one relentlessly busy dude during football season. Fortunately, we caught him during pre-season play to bombard him with questions about stadium life.
How many people does it take to keep the grounds in tip-top shape? Eight. Five full-time and three part-time. On game days we go up to 12.
How long have you been the Head Groundskeeper Extraordinaire? Two years. This is my 13th season with the team.
How many times have you been compared to Groundskeeper Willy from The Simpsons? Zero
Square footage of the field? 87,000 square feet
How many home openers have the Chiefs won? (And did you have to look that up?) 35. Of course, I had to look that up.
Number of times you’ve secretly noticed an imperfection in the field that absolutely no one else could possibly see? 124. That’s how many games I have worked.
Cans of green paint you have ready and waiting just in case you need a touch-up? We only keep a few gallons around. We try not to use any green paint.
Percentage of hearing you’ve allegedly lost being on the field with such an eternally loudy-rowdy crowdy? What? Probably 30%—this place is loud, especially down on the field.
Number of times you’ve peppered the word “turf” into causal conversation? It’s hard telling—probably a lot more times than most people want to hear.
Weight/dimensions of the sod? Thin cut sod comes in 42 inches wide by about 130 feet long and weighs around 2,500 lbs. Thick cut sod comes in 42 inches wide by about 45 feet long and weighs around 2,500 lbs.
Coldest temperature of a Chiefs game you’ve worked? -8° overnight and 6° at kickoff. Luckily, we have our underground heat system to keep the field nice and warm.
How many red jerseys/sweatshirts/shirts/hoodies/pullovers/sweaters/jackets/blazers/turtlenecks/coats are in your closet? I would guess—at least 50.
Number of famous people you’ve spied in the stands/bumped in to on the field? (Drop some names, yo!) Honestly, I don’t have very many. I am usually worried about the turf they are trampling.