TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Monster Jam monster truck show is returning to Tampa this Saturday, complete with its big trucks and crazy stunts. In preparation, crews have already begun the daunting task of transforming Raymond James Stadium from a football field into a dirt arena.
"We come in and we put down a geo-tech fabric all over the football field. Then we use a plastic polyurethane. After that, we put 8 inches of dirt all over the top of the whole football field," said Steve Carmack with Track Construction Crew.
Over 250 truckloads of dirt, adding up to almost 9,000 tons, covers the stadium floor.
The dirt track sets the stage for fierce competition between rival trucks like Max-D and Grave Digger.
"Every year we change the tracks to different stuff," said Carmack. "This year we have a bigger track than normal, more jumps, and we're bringing the bus back."
The whole setup process takes less than 48 hours from start to finish.
However, when the show concludes and the teardown begins, the dirt doesn't have to travel far.
"We actually dig this off the floor with big excavators, load it in the dump truck, and we actually store the dirt right here on site in Tampa," said Carmack.
They 'store' it by spreading the dirt across part of a parking lot where cars park during the regular season.
The dirt has been reused for over 15 years during all of Monster Jam's Tampa performances.
"People park cars on it all year, you never know it's here."
With fans' expectations high for the upcoming show, and the stunts sure to be even higher, Carmack said this year's performance is unlike anything you've ever seen.
"It's a totally different track, different drivers, different trucks. It's a totally different show," he explained.
He added that the long hours of work and preparation are more than worth it to see the end result.
"It's always fun; it's Monster Jam," said Carmack.
The Monster Jam show will take place at Raymond James Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The show will return to Tampa again on February 2.