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Delaware to Install Artificial FieldTurf Surface
In December, the current Delaware Stadium grass surface will be removed and a new synthetic FieldTurf field will be installed by Clark Companies of New Delhi, N.Y., one of the nation’s leaders in turf installation. Clark also installed FieldTurf on the Delaware Practice Fields prior to the 2008 season.
Weather permitting, work is scheduled to begin on Dec. 1 and is expected to be completed in time for spring football practice and lacrosse season in March.
“This is just one of several improvements we plan to take as we enhance the footprint of our athletics facilities here at the University of Delaware,” said UD Director of Athletics Bernard Muir. “Delaware Stadium now becomes a multi-purpose facility that can be used for a host of other events and activities throughout the year. Our future plans include adding even more artificial turf fields on campus for recreational use.”
Delaware now becomes the 10th institution in the Colonial Athletic Association to play its home games on an artificial surface. Richmond, which will open its new on-campus stadium next fall, will be playing on artificial turf after playing on natural grass at Richmond Stadium. Rhode Island will be the only CAA school to play its games on natural grass.
In addition to Delaware football games, the Blue Hen men’s lacrosse squad has scheduled at least three games to be played in Delaware Stadium this coming spring - March 27 vs. Vermont, Apr. 17 vs. Massachusetts, and Apr. 24 against Drexel.
The new surface will also accommodate Blue Hen women’s lacrosse games as well as outside organizations including high school sporting events. Both the UD men’s and women’s lacrosse teams plan to play all their games in Delaware Stadium in 2011.
“This is an exciting enhancement for our program, gives us a great surface to play on and makes Delaware Stadium so much more valuable,” said
Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler. “It provides the University another place to hold events such as all-star games and state championships.”
One of the finest football facilities in the country at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level, Delaware Stadium was erected in 1952 and enlarged prior to the 1964, 1970, 1972 and the 1975 seasons. The 22,000-seat stadium is the largest in the CAA and one of the largest in the nation at the FCS level.
The stadium received a new look prior to the 2000 season as eight poles of permanent broadcast-quality lights were installed by Musco Lighting. In addition, the South End Zone bleachers were replaced. The Blue Hen football team enters Delaware Stadium from a brick runway underneath the stands directly behind the goalposts on gameday. A bronze plaque which lists the accomplishments of past Blue Hen football teams along with a football hangs from the runway. A new tradition was started in 2000 as Delaware players jump up to touch the plaque before entering the field.
Delaware annually ranks among the national leaders at the FCS level in average attendance and this year currently ranks No. 4 with an average crowd of 20,750 for six home games. Delaware is the only school in the nation at the FCS level to average over 20,000 fans per regular season home game each of the last 11 seasons.
By University of Delaware Sports Information