April 28, 2009
Watch video of the turf removal on Huskie Happenings!
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois' Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium will boast a brand new surface in 2009 as preparations for installation of the new FieldTurf surface got underway today. The latest-and-greatest version of FieldTurf - the world leader in artificial turf - will replace the eight-year-old FieldTurf surface that has played host to hundreds of NIU practices, games and activities since 2001.
The start date was set following approval by the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees in March and the conclusion of spring practices for the Huskie football team last Saturday. Removal of the current surface and installation of the new FieldTurf is expected to take less than a month.
The new state-of-the-art FieldTurf surface will officially debut when the Huskies stage their 2009 home opener on September 12 against Western Illinois. Northern Illinois first installed FieldTurf at Huskie Stadium in 2001.
"When I first came to Northern Illinois a year ago, one of the first projects that our coaches and staff brought me was the replacement of the turf at Huskie Stadium," said NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "The original FieldTurf has served our NIU teams well over the last eight years, from football and soccer games and practices to camps and workout space for each of our programs. We certainly appreciate the support of our university administration in getting this project underway and are happy to once again work with the professionals from FieldTurf on this project."
"Our entire team is extremely excited that we will have new FieldTurf on Brigham Field for the 2009 season," said NIU Head Football Coach Jerry Kill. "Since we use the field for both games and practices, having a really good surface is critical to the success of our football program. We can't wait for the new turf to be ready to go."
"It's certainly always gratifying when an NCAA member selects FieldTurf for installation at its football stadium, but it's even more gratifying when the satisfaction level for that university is so high that they want to be a repeat customer," said Joe Fields, CEO of FieldTurf. "We are so pleased that Jeff (Compher), Coach Kill and the rest of Northern Illinois' athletic department think so highly of the product that we have provided to them for the past eight years. Everyone at FieldTurf is completely committed to providing the Huskies and their fans with the absolute best, safest, world-class surface in existence."
Northern Illinois' commitment to artificial turf for Huskie Stadium dates back to 1969 as NIU has played its home football games on turf for 40 consecutive years. On September 20, 1969, the Huskies hosted the first major college football game on artificial turf that had ever been played in the state of Illinois (versus Idaho). NIU also played host to the first men's intercollegiate soccer game on turf that had ever been contested in the state.
More than 50 top NCAA universities currently play their home games on FieldTurf while 21 of the NFL's 32 teams presently utilize FieldTurf in their stadiums and/or practice facilities. In addition, four of the top five and eight of the top ten artificial turf fields in the league are FieldTurf, according to that NFLPA data. In addition, MLB's Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays have FieldTurf at their respective stadiums.
FieldTurf leads the synthetic turf industry with regard to setting higher environmental standards and is the global market leader in terms of synthetic sports fields with over 3000 fields installed. FieldTurf synthetic turf customers enjoy the benefits of significantly reduced water consumption, the elimination of fertilizer and pesticides, superior durability and drainage and a product that looks and feels real. For more information on FieldTurf, go to www.fieldturf.com.
-- NIU --
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