A new turf, costing approximately $500,000, has been installed in the Robins Stadium to promote safety.
"Since it was old turf, people were getting injured because there were lots of holes in the ground," Kendall Gaskins, senior fullback and team captain said. "The turf wasn't giving because it was so old and worn down, basically like concrete."
When the stadium was completed three years ago, the existing turf from 2004 was left in place. Replacement was necessary because the former turf was no longer in suitable condition for play, Ben Edwards, junior wide receiver, said.
The New Market Stadium turf was replaced with FieldTurf, a brand used in 21 of 32 NFL stadiums, according to a statement released by Richmond Athletics.
Plans for this new "state of the art surface" were made during the last academic year, David Walsh, deputy athletic director, said. These plans included improved appearance, drainage, traction and softness, Walsh said. Increased drainage permits play in the rain, improved traction allows players to travel better across the field and softness decreases the chance of injury.
The project, which began on May 3, was completed in early June, according to the Richmond Athletics staff. The installment was finished just in time for the football team to begin summer camp in July, Edwards said.
After practices, preseason games and one regular season game at home, no one on the team has faced turf-induced injuries, as they did last year, Gaskins said.
The new turf improves safety not only for the football team, but also for men's and women's soccer, women's lacrosse and track and field.
New turf has also been installed on the intramural fields.
"Turf makes the game faster because you aren't digging into the ground," Gaskins said. "Grass gives you more of an opportunity to trip up and slip because you can make divots in the ground, and on turf you can't do that."
Contact reporter Jamie Edelen at firstname.lastname@example.org