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Artificial Turf Installtion Underway at NCCU's O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium
DURHAM, N.C. (www.NCCUEaglePride.com) - In an effort to maximize the use of its athletic fields and reduce financial and human resources, the North Carolina Central University Department of Athletics has initiated the process of installing artificial turf inside O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
On July 13, Medallion Athletic Products, Inc., the company contracted to perform the artificial turf installation, broke ground on the Eagles home football field. The new Mondoturf playing surface is projected to be ready for use on Aug. 24, pending agreeable weather and any installation issues.
NCCU’s football home-opener is on Sept. 19 against Morehead State.
“We are extremely excited about the new upgrade to our football stadium field,” said Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree, NCCU Director of Athletics. “The addition of the artificial turf will provide our student-athletes with an attractive and safe playing surface to improve their performance and showcase their talents.”
NCCU looked into the possibility of artificial turf because of the amount of use its lone practice field (located inside the track) receives throughout the year by athletics, the band, campus recreation programs and community groups.
“The addition of the artificial turf will provide our student-athletes with an attractive and safe playing surface to improve their performance and showcase their talents.”
Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree, NCCU Director of Athletics
“We are land-locked,” Wicker-McCree said. “Therefore, these two fields (practice and game fields) are the only true open spaces on campus. We now have the opportunity to offer more time on the fields by these groups and others by having lower maintenance time and costs to the department and University.”
The total cost of the project is expected to be $816,000, which will be paid by the Athletics Department in eight annual payments of $102,000.
“This is a sound investment for NCCU,” Wicker-McCree said. “Over the years, we have spent a significant amount of financial and human resources to maintain our practice and game fields. Inevitably, due to heavy use and inclement weather, the conditions of the fields worsen as the year goes on.
“The artificial turf can accommodate a lot of use while maintaining a consistent look and a safe playing surface,” she added. “It will also improve the condition of the practice field by reducing the amount of time it is utilized.”
For more information about the type of artificial turf being installed, visit the Mondoturf web site at www.mondousa.com.