It will be greener pastures for the Comet athletic teams when they take to the field this fall on a new synthetic turf. The current 13-year-old field is being replaced over the next week. Removal of the old turf began Wednesday and will be completed today. Repair to the surface and preparations for new turf will take place Friday and Monday. The new turf will be installed next Tuesday through Friday.
Watch the live stream of the entire process, including the unveiling of the new OC athletic brand logo on the field!
“We are excited about the installation of the new turf. We’re grateful to the college for its continued support of athletics and its commitment to ongoing improvements to our facilities,” said Ryan Shockey, athletic director.
The field at Cutler Athletic Complex is used for more than football. It’s also where the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams practice and compete. Drive by at 6 a.m. or 8 p.m. any day of the week, spring, summer, fall and even winter, and odds are the lights will be on and the field will be in use by other OC athletic teams for practice, the college’s marching band and intramural programs. In addition, aspiring athletes of all ages have the thrill of a lifetime when they play on the field as part OC’s summer athletic youth camps.
The field last received a facelift in the summer of 2004 when a synthetic surface was installed. Today’s synthetic turfs typically last eight to 10 years. The Athletic Department has been planning and budgeting for the new field to be installed in the 2017-18 academic year.
In the long run, an investment in a turf field saves money on the costly maintenance associated with grass fields. Turf also allows more teams to use fields once reserved for football while offering a safer, virtually year-round playing surface for athletes. Modern turf doesn’t burn when athletes side, as in the old days, and cushions falls. Another bonus to turf fields, particularly in Michigan’s unpredictable weather, is that the artificial grass blades remain pliable in cold weather and the field itself is not hurt when used in the cold. On a snowy, winter day, all you’ll need is a snow shovel. And, no worries about playing in the dirt or mud each fall and early spring!