ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan executive associate athletic director Mike Stevenson announced today (Thursday, April 3) the selection of FieldTurf as the new artificial surface to be installed at Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines selected the surface that is already in place at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse, the indoor practice facility for football and other U-M teams. Michigan will return to an artificial surface after playing on Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT) since 1991.
"The decision to go with FieldTurf came after testing surfaces across the country," said Stevenson. "We evaluated all the products on the market and concluded that FieldTurf has a proven track record at many high school, college and professional venues. FieldTurf exceeds all of our expectations and specifications in the end and our players and coaching staff know what to expect from the field."
The surface will cost the Athletic Department $620,000 to install at the stadium, less than the $850,000 budgeted amount originally approved by the Board of Regents. This fee includes removal of the existing PAT surface, installation of the new field and replacement of the urethane track around the field and tunnel of the stadium. The proposal includes a $46,000 donation by the Ford Motor Company for the crushed rubber infill used in the field.
The athletic department received proposals from nine different artificial surface vendors and trimmed the list to three companies -- FieldTurf, Prestige and ProGrass -- when the decision to have a sand and rubber infill was reached by the committee.
Michigan did extensive and detailed testing of all three surfaces and visited surfaces of the three finalists. The group took a trip to the Prestige fields at Berkley (Mich.) High School and the University of Iowa's one-year-old practice field. Personnel from Michigan visited Nebraska's four-year-old FieldTurf surface at Memorial Stadium and visited the Detroit Lions practice facility and Ford Field, which also are FieldTurf fields. Michigan played on FieldTurf at the University of Washington during the 2001 football season.
Construction will begin on Monday, April 28, following commencement ceremonies in Michigan Stadium. The athletic department would like to have the field installed by mid-June, prior to the Women's Football Academy and Wolverine Football Camp.
Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423