http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...00384/-1/CINCI

BY KIMBALL PERRY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

If the Cincinnati Reds don't make the playoffs this year, they'll play on new grass next year.

Hamilton County Commissioners on Wednesday approved a $303,443 contract with Cincinnati-based Motz Group Inc. to rip up the existing turf at Great American Ball Park and reseed the field.

If the Reds are still playing Oct. 9, though, the turf replacement will have to be delayed one year, said Eric Stuckey, assistant Hamilton County administrator.

For the Reds to be playing that late in the year -- their regular season ends Oct. 1 -- they would have to make the playoffs.

The Reds are leading the chase for the National League wild card spot, two games ahead of the L.A. Dodgers before Wednesday's games.

If the Reds don't make the playoffs, Motz will tear up the field, reseed it and then place a "seed blanket" over the field that will protect the grass through the winter, Stuckey said.

Motz installed the original turf when Great American Ball Park opened in 2003. It was the only company to respond to Hamilton County's request to have the field replaced.

Grass turfs, Stuckey said, are good for "four to five years max before they have to be replaced." This season is the field's fourth.

As long as Great American Ball Park has grass turf, it will have to be replaced every five years or so.

Hamilton County owns Great American Ball Park and leases it to the Reds.