When Erie County accepted his $4,551 bid for roughly 40,000 square feet of old Buffalo Bills field turf, Pat Brady was racing his sailboat 100 miles off the East Coast.
He didn't learn he won until three days later. That's when the Buffalo resident discovered he had two days to pick up 54 rolls of turf, each weighing several tons.
He had to move fast. He secured space in an old factory building. He hired four flatbed trucks that ran for more than nine hours nonstop carting the giant turf rolls from the SUNY Erie South Campus to the warehouse.
Within three weeks he launched his website, which went live Sunday.
And the The Buffalo Turf company was born.
Brady's now selling 1-square-foot pieces of turf and also larger sizes from New Era Field for $30 and up.
Since Sunday, he has received 950 orders from as far away as the Netherlands, he said.
"They’re all across the country and all around the world," Brady said.
As a teenager, he spent his summers packing up and shipping out seats, fixtures and equipment from old stadiums, like the Aud, before crews demolished the buildings. So his new business venture is right up his alley.
"I’m here 18 hours a day," said Brady, 27, at his turf prep operation. "This is the first time that I’ve had a venture of this scale. Everything that I’ve failed at, meaning it didn’t take off and didn’t make money, has prepared me for this. Time is my biggest enemy right now. People want their orders, and we want to get it to them quick."
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