Home   /  Sports   /  College Football


Texas installs new artificial turf at Royal-Memorial Stadium

By John Maher - American-Statesman Staff

The Texas Longhorns will have new home turf to defend next football season. Late last week, workers completed installation of a new FieldTurf surface at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

The new field replaces a FieldTurf surface installed in 2009. The life expectancy for artificial turf is typically eight to 10 years. UT athletics spokesman Nick Voinis said Monday, “We didn’t have to replace it. … It could have lasted a little bit longer.”

He added that UT had an opportunity to replace the field and add enhanced drainage and other improvements for $290,000. Voinis said it cost $1.3 million to change from grass to FieldTurf in 2009. The Longhorns played on a grass field from 1996 to 2000, but the grass had a tendency to tear up too easily during games.

The FieldTurf surface is “in-filled artificial turf,” which the company began producing in 1994. In addition to artificial blades of grass, the field uses sand and recycled tire rubber, about 9 pounds of fill for per square foot. Voinis said UT has the latest version of the surface.

“It’s the same thing they installed in the bubble,” he said. “In our opinion, it’s the best product around.”

The surface was installed in Texas’ indoor practice facility last year.

In 1999, Nebraska became the first NCAA Division I program to use FieldTurf for its home football field. While Nebraska is no longer part of the Big 12, about one-half of the league’s current members have FieldTurf playing surfaces for football.

Lately FieldTurf has been replacing, for free, some high school and small college fields. Those schools, usually in the South, reported that the artificial grass filaments were fraying prematurely, presumably because of the heat. FieldTurf has blamed a supplier for the problem.

The supplier, TenCate, has replied by suing FieldTurf for libel, among other things.

Kansas had a FieldTurf surface installed for its football field in 2009, the same year as UT, and a spokesperson for that university said there has been no problem with the turf.

Voinis said UT’s new field has an eight-year warranty. He also said the orange end zones would be burnt orange. Some Longhorns fans had criticized the orange sections of the previous field, complaining that the color fell somewhere between a bright Tennessee orange and the darker Texas color.

Next year, Voinis said, the orange Longhorn logo at midfield will not bear the initials DKR, as it did last year to honor legendary coach Darrell K Royal, who died Nov. 7.

Memorial Stadium had a grass field from 1925 through 1968 before switching to the first generation of artificial surfaces.

This is the third time an artificial field has been installed at Memorial Stadium. The two previous times an artificial field made its debut, in 1969 and 2009, Texas finished the season by playing for the national championship.

Popular on MyStatesman.com



Read Today's Paper Online

Read Today's Paper Online

Still like to read the newspaper in the familiar page-by-page format? Great news! Digital versions of today's paper are available on your computer or tablet. And it's included in your subscription.

Learn MoreRead

Manage Your Account

We're Listening

We hope you're enjoying MyStatesman.com, our premium website exclusively for subscribers. Please tell us what you like and what we can do to make it even better by completing a brief survey.

Take The Survey

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com.

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.