Texas to switch to FieldTurf in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
Feb. 13, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- In an effort to provide the best quality playing field while maximizing use of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas will replace its grass field with FieldTurf as its playing surface.
The cost of the field, which is part of UT's $27-million south end zone construction project, will be around $400,000. The south end zone project includes the addition of 4,525 steel bleachers seats that will raise the home attendance at football games to more than 100,000. The surface will be in place in time for the 2009 season with prep work for the installation scheduled to begin in April, following the Longhorns spring football season. The field is scheduled for completion June.
"It not only provides us with a state-of-the art playing surface that can hold up to challenging weather conditions but it also allows the stadium to be more of a multi-use facility," said Jim Baker, UT Associate Athletics Director/Events and Operations. "It gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to practicing on the field, using it for camps and band practices and also allows us to be in a position to host more playoff games and events."
The FieldTurf installation marks a return to synthetic turf for the Longhorns after playing on natural grass from 1996-2008. Texas played on a variety of artificial surfaces from 1967-95. Prior to that, UT played its home games on grass from 1925-67.
Texas becomes the fifth member of the Big 12 to install FieldTurf in its home football stadium, joining Nebraska, Kansas State, Missouri and Texas Tech. Additionally, Kansas and Texas A&M have FieldTurf at their practice facilities.
"We researched to determine what would be the best artificial turf product for the Texas football program," Baker added. "We talked to a lot of Division I programs that have FieldTurf in their football facilities and they all gave us glowing reviews.
"Plus, FieldTurf has more fields out there than anyone else at both the collegiate and NFL levels. We had FieldTurf installed last year in our baseball stadium (UFCU Disch-Falk Field), and both the players and coaches have raved about the surface. Installing FieldTurf is just a good fit for us."
More than 50 NCAA universities currently play their home games on FieldTurf. In addition to the Big 12 schools already cited, others with FieldTurf include Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Boston College, Rutgers, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Louisville. Twenty-one of the NFL's 32 teams presently utilize FieldTurf in their stadiums and/or practice facilities. In addition, MLB's Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays have FieldTurf at their respective stadiums.
"There is no question that The University of Texas represents one of the most prestigious programs in the annals of college football," said FieldTurf CEO Joe Fields. "It is an honor for FieldTurf to be associated with the Texas Longhorns, and it is a compliment of the highest order for our product to be selected for installation at one of the nation's venerable college football stadiums.
"We are delighted to initiate this association with UT, and we are supremely confident that their faith in FieldTurf will be well served. FieldTurf will provide Coach Brown and his players with a state-of-the-art playing surface that uses cutting-edge technology for the highest levels of both playability and safety."
The NFL Players Association released their bi-annual ranking of NFL stadium fields during a January 29 press conference in Tampa prior to the Super Bowl. Once again, the results tabbed FieldTurf as the runaway leader among all artificial turf brands. In data gathered from polling/voting of over 1300 NFL players, 40 percent of the league's Top 10 surfaces were FieldTurf fields. In addition, four of the top five and eight of the top 10 artificial turf fields in the league are FieldTurf, according to that NFLPA data.
For more information on FieldTurf, please visit www.fieldturf.com