New turf being installed at KU's Memorial Stadium
Construction crews and Bobcats have taken over Memorial Stadium. But, no, it's not the start of any major stadium renovations that KU fans are dying to see.
Instead, the Kansas University athletic department is replacing the turf at Memorial Stadium in preparation for the upcoming spring football season.
The old turf, which already has been completely ripped out, was installed in the spring and summer of 2009 and the new turf, which went down last summer in place of the old track that was torn out following the completion of Rock Chalk Park, will remain in place. When the project is finished, which KU officials said would be in time for spring practices, the two shades of green will match better than the turf did last season.
Work on the project began last weekend and the construction crews are currently in the process of re-leveling the entire field.
Once the new turf is installed, it will look nearly identical to what you saw last season in terms of logos and end zone markings, with the only exception being a six-foot white border surrounding the playing field instead of the 18-20-inch border that had been there. The thicker boundary is more in line with what the rest of the Big 12 Conference stadiums have in place.
According to a KU official with knowledge of the project, the new turf is expected to hold up for around eight years.
KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said the cost of the current project is around $200,000, less than half of last summer's $500,000 price tag to remove the track and put turf down in its place. That project was paid for by an anonymous donor.