While every irrigation job is a bit different, it’s not too often that a one-of-a-kind irrigation project comes along. But in 2009, Mickman Brothers, Inc., a Minnesota-based company, landed the opportunity to install the irrigation system at Target Field where the Minnesota Twins play. The company’s general manager, Jeff Sutter, says it was a “fantastic opportunity.”
The job wasn’t huge but it was highly detailed. Every single aspect was spelled out. “For each and every glue joint or head installed, everything was well-planned and highly detailed,” Sutter says. “That made it very different from a traditional install.”
Of course the work was highly scrutinized as well – not only from ball field management, but from all angles. “Many times when a new phase of the project was underway – such as the sod being laid or a sprinkler goes in – a news crew would show up with their cameras. The construction of the field was a big story and created a lot of excitement for everyone and everything was closely watched.”
Even to this day, when the company goes back to do service, there’s a detailed planning process to follow. “It’s almost like doing a surgical procedure,” Sutter says. “You plan where to make cuts and how to remove sod.”
Mickman Brothers continues to start-up the system each spring and winterize it at the end of the season. Of course they also handle any service and maintenance issues that might arise throughout the season. But Sutter says it’s not like any other start-up or winterization they work on.
“Opening day is the first part of April so the ball field is always our first start-up of the year,” Sutter says. “This year we started it up on March 15 and it was snowing. But you walk in and the field’s underground heat’s been on so the grass is green and everything looks warm. It’s like walking into a whole different world in there. It’s very unique.”
The winterization is always the company’s last of the season. “Because of the heat, we don’t have to do the winterization right away and we typically do it in December,” Sutter says. “It’s definitely been a wonderful opportunity and one we’ve really appreciated. Of course it’s also been a lot of fun.”