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It’s opening night on the NSC’s new artificial-turf stadium fields!

05/09/2018, 5:00pm CDT
By Barclay Kruse, Chief Communications Officer

After a major turf-installation project that started last fall and resumed after then snow melted this spring, the new artificial turf fields in the National Sports Center (NSC) Stadium are finally ready for play.  

The contractor finished filling in the rubber and sand infill over the past weekend, a project that was delayed a month later than expected due to our severe April weather. The NSC officially assumed control on Monday, and on Wednesday, the NSC agronomy staff was busy painting field lines.

The National Sports Center's agronomy staff was busy painting the first lines ever on the new stadium turf fields.

The official use of the fields kicked off Wednesday evening, with the Minnesota United Development Academy renting both fields for training for their 13 and 14 year old boys' teams.

Last year, the NSC made the decision to replace the historic grass field with two full-sized artificial turf fields. The backside bleachers and the remnants of the old running track were removed, providing enough space for an additional full-size field within the existing stadium footprint.

The $1.35 million stadium turf project was funded by the National Sports Center.

The existing stadium grandstand remains, providing approximately 5,500 seats for stadium events.

Minnesota United FC's 13 and 14 Development Academy teams had the privilege of being first on the new turf, on May 9. The two fields will be available for all of the NSC's tournaments this season, including Schwan's USA CUP.

With Minnesota United FC now playing home games at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota before moving into their new Allianz Field in Saint Paul in 2019, the NSC had the option of reconfiguring the stadium for a different long-term use.

The NSC is already the largest multi-sport campus in the world, with 52 existing fields. Previously, the NSC’s existing fields were all natural grass. The new artificial turf fields will provide new additional capacity, especially at times currently not available – during bad weather, early spring and late fall seasons, and after dark.

The existing grass field in the Stadium dates back to the opening of the campus in 1990. The field was modified in 2008 when the running track was removed and the field moved closer to the grandstand to improve spectator viewing for field sport events.

The new turf will be Field Turf Revolution 360, which is a top-of-the-line turf. It’s called a “FIFA Quality” turf, and is used by top clubs like FC Barcelona, Ajax, Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint Germain. In the U.S., Revolution 360 has been installed in CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Sounders and Seahawks, and at numerous colleges and universities across the country, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Washington, Oregon State, Texas Tech and Syracuse. It’s noted for its high-quality playability, safety, natural aesthetics, reduced infill splash, and durability.

Tag(s): NSC Blog