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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Rice-Eccles to get new turf

By Evan Frank

Rice-Eccles Stadium is in the process of installing a new FieldTurf surface. The old turf, which was installed in 2002, was torn out after the Supercross event April 25.

FieldTurf is the leader in synthetic sports fields with more than 3,000 fields installed. There are more than 50 NCAA stadiums that have FieldTurf, along with 21 NFL stadiums.

Head football coach Kyle Whittingham seemed excited to have the chance to play on the new turf.

“It’s a good surface and will hold up in the weather,” said Whittingham.

The new surface will have to hold up to the average 40 to 50 inches of snow that Salt Lake City experiences annually, according to

FieldTurf, designed to look and feel like real grass, features reduced water consumption and eliminates fertilizers and pesticides. It also has a higher level of durability and drainage.

From 2005 to October 2008, Rice-Eccles Stadium was also home to the Major League Soccer franchise, Real Salt Lake. With the departure of Real Salt Lake, the Utah football team will be the only team playing on the new turf.

The new field will feature red end zones with UTAH in white block-type and black trim. A red block U will be in the center of the field. Mountain West Conference logos will be in a red and white outline between the 20- and 30-yard lines on the southwest and northeast sidelines. The end zones are created with red and white synthetic fibers and will not need to be painted before each game.

The Utes had an overall record of 33-7 on the old surface, including two undefeated seasons, going 6-0 in 2004 and 2008.

“FieldTurf is a good product,” said Whittingham. “We want to have a sharp-looking stadium.”

Although the field is expected to be ready in early July, the Utes won’t play on the new surface until scrimmages and fall camps, beginning August 6.
Fans will be able to see the new turf when Utah opens its 2009 football season September 3 against Utah State.

Evan Frank

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