Tuesday, May 19, 2009

KU to install new FieldTurf at Memorial Stadium

New surface will debut in football season-opener on Sept. 5


Kansas University will install new FieldTurf at Memorial Stadium this summer, athletic director Lew Perkins announced in a press release.

The installation of the FieldTurf will take place in late spring, and the new surface is scheduled to be in place in time for the KU football team's Sept. 5 season-opener against Northern Colorado.

KU will become the sixth Big 12 school to have FieldTurf, joining Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Texas Tech. FieldTurf also was installed last August on the Jayhawks' two practice fields located next to the Anderson Family Football Complex.

"FieldTurf is universally recognized as a top-of-the-line playing surface,” KU coach Mark Mangino said in the release. "We’re excited that we will be playing on a surface that so many NFL and top collegiate teams also use. And the fact that our new practice fields are also FieldTurf is a real benefit for our players."

The Jayhawks have played their home games on artificial turf since 1970. The new FieldTurf will be the stadium's fifth turf field, replacing the AstroPlay that was installed in 2000.


741hawk 11 years, 8 months ago

I don't get it.
All indications are that a new track will be built as part of an "Athletic Complex" on the old football practice fields. That makes the next addition to Memorial Stadium a slam dunk -- lower the field and add seven rows of seats (approximately 7,000 total seats) -- a perfect next addition to the ol' horseshoe.

Would Lew install a new field only to tear it out and lower the floor just two seasons later? I doubt it. Therefore, I'm really disappointed that I will still be sitting eight track lanes farther from the field than fans at every other "Big Time" football school.

Note: Oklahoma's FIRST addition to Owen field was in 1949 when they took out their track and created a real football venue.
Note 2: KU is one of only three BCS schools with tracks inside their stadiums -- the others being Washington and Duke. (What an awful comparison.)

Andy Hess 11 years, 8 months ago

you CAN NOT add seats with a lowered field at Memorial Stadium. adding seats that way will alter the line of sight for the entire stadium. if this were to be done, all the seats in the stadium would have to be altered to match the original line of sight. Lew has already said that IF he lowers the field he will not add more seats for the general public, but rather install more handicap-accessible seating.

11 years, 8 months ago

741hawk ~

I completely agree. However, I believe I read a post from a week ago or so that indicated they have done soil surveys on the ground below the current playing field and have determined that it would not be possible to lower the field. I hope that information is inaccurate and that they will be installing the new FieldTurf this summer with the intent to reuse it once the field has been lowered.

741hawk 11 years, 8 months ago

An engineering study was done in the late 1990s under Bob Frederick. Dolph Simmons, Jr. (who was on the athletic board at the time) showed me the results of that study. The field CAN be lowered the equivalent of seven rows. That takes into "line-of-site" and is why seven is the limit!

Lew is afraid to let our fans get close to the field, and that's a damn shame. A good example is the brand new stadium he built at UConn. No track, but the first row is elevated and away from the field.

Eurekahwk 11 years, 8 months ago

"No track, but the first row is elevated and away from the field."

As it should be. If the field is lowered, it is only so that the existing front row can actually watch the game. Then, KUAC doesn't have to feel bad about raising the price of those front row seats. If 7,000 more seats is want you want, (I'd go for an extra 15,000), then I know the perfect place. I'll give you a hint. It is undeveloped. It has a big screen and stupid looking "club seats" tying it up. That's right, the SOUTH END. All the major stadiums don't have a track in their way. All the major stadiums also have seats on ALL sides of the football field.

Toto_the_great 11 years, 8 months ago

What's the stuff on the field now... the stuff with the ground tires?

Tyler Fox 11 years, 8 months ago

The field now doesn't have ground up tires in it. It just has blades that resemble grass. It's rock hard, especially where the Jayhawk and endzones are painted. The new stuff they're putting down is the field with the ground up tires if it's going to be like the field at K-State. They can go back and add more rubber to it as it breaks down and gets moved out by normal use. That will keep it softer like real grass and easier on the joints and players in general

abefroman 11 years, 8 months ago

2 things...the track has got to GO and so does the chain link fence around the outside of the stadium. The track looks terrible on TV and is just absolutely bush league. Chain link fence has no business surrounding a BCS school's fb stadium, save it for little league ball fields. Rod iron maybe? Lets clean up the stadium and create a real college fb ATMOSPHERE....other than that GO HAWKS! Big 12 champs!

Toto_the_great 11 years, 8 months ago

Wasn't there a switch there in the mid-90's to astroplay or something like that? the field had a make over sometime around then, which seemed to make the field get softer and faster.

topekahawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Who is Rod Iron? The guy who will remove the chain link fence and install the wrought iron fence?

abefroman 11 years, 8 months ago

The word "wrought" is an archaic past tense form of the verb to work. As irregular past-tense forms in English have historically fallen out of use over long periods of time, wrought became worked. Wrought iron literally means worked iron

Bar iron — iron in bars, which are the usual product of the finery forge, but not necessarily made by that process. These might be square or flat, and flat bars might be narrow or broad. Rod iron — cut from flat bar iron in a slitting mill to provide the raw material

are we really talking semantics here? If you didnt like the idea of a "wrought" iron or a bar iron, or a craig "iron head" heyward type fence you could have just disagreed.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 8 months ago

So what kind of iron does Robert Downey jr wear in Iron Man?

topekahawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Wrought is archaic, so smart people use "rod" instead? Nice try Mr. Wikipedia.

When in a hole, stop digging.

That being said, you're right -- the chain link needs to be replaced.

KGphoto 11 years, 8 months ago

Keep it up. I'm having a blast.

Oregon: I agree. For the sausage king of Chicago. Dude knows his iron.

STLJHawk86 11 years, 8 months ago

I am glad to see the fence issue got ironed out.

jhawkgreg 11 years, 8 months ago

some people seem to get so overwrought. or is that overrod?

Eurekahwk 11 years, 8 months ago

Fox, apparently you've never walked on our field. It DOES contain rubber pellots from recycled tires. It may not be as soft as what we will have, but I guarantee it is softer than what used to be on the field just 10 years ago. That was concrete covered with carpet.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 8 months ago

Glad to hear the field is being replaced. It was a rock even just for stretching before practice. It is another example of upgrading the facilities that should attract more elite athletes, which undoubtedly goes unnoticed by most fans but definitely not by the athletes.

Hopefully, we can fill the stadium for more than just one season, thereby giving the admin the confidence to proceed with enlarging the stadium - regardless of whether it is down or/and up.

As for around, as in blocking the view of the hill - other (all?) major stadiums may have seats all the way around, but they don't have our hill & campanile. Other universities that have unique, positive features are also wise enough to maximize the positives.

That being said, let's not put the cart in front of the horse. The tradition of annual excellence has begun. Let's keep sawin' wood - or iron or whatever.

Rock Chalk

djgratt59 11 years, 7 months ago

When the field froze in the fall it was like concrete. That's what they said.

May the Jayhawks kick every ass that comes into Memorial Stadium this year, Amen.

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