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Sandy prompts Cyclones' switch to turf

The Brooklyn Cyclones, who played on grass at MCU Park since the return of New York-Penn League baseball to Coney Island, will open this season next month with synthetic grass. The team indicated the switch to artificial turf was prompted by Superstorm Sandy.

The team wrote in a statement:

Thanks to a massive rebuilding effort over the winter, the stadium -- which opened its doors for the first time in 2001 -- will look like new this summer. Renovations have been completed on the front office, locker rooms, ticket office, catering areas and dugouts, while a completely remodeled team store will be unveiled closer to Opening Day. The most obvious change to the ballpark, however, will be a brand-new, state-of-the-art playing surface. The salt, chemicals and other pollutants caused by the ocean water left the previous surface extremely contaminated and unplayable.

“Our new field will be a great addition to MCU Park,” GM Steve Cohen added. “The added durability of the playing surface allows us to use the ballpark almost year-round. We can now host soccer, football, lacrosse, concerts, corporate outings and more in addition to the youth, high school and college baseball games that we typically schedule. Equally important is the fact that it is designed to withstand severe weather, which bodes well in the event that the recent trend of storms continues.”