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WACO, Texas -
Baylor University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw and Head Football Coach Guy Morriss announced today that the newest generation of artificial turf on the market, the Prestige System playing surface, has been selected to replace Floyd Casey Stadium's Sports Grass turf. The installation of the new synthetic grass should be completed by mid-March when Morriss' Bears begin spring drills.
The new turf will be similar to rubber infill fields currently in use at fellow Big 12 Conference institutions Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, as well as at several NFL stadiums. Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium featured a natural grass playing surface from 1950 through 1971, then utilized various artificial surfaces from 1972 through 1997 before returning to grass in 1998.
According to a cost benefit analysis conducted by the Baylor Athletics Department, the new field surface is estimated to reduce field maintenance expenses by more than $100,000 annually which will result in a three-year payback on the project's cost to the University. The Prestige System carries an eight-year guarantee.
"The increased popularity of a new type of synthetic turf as a preferred playing surface has resulted in Baylor losing several outside events, including high school playoff games and the statewide marching band competition," McCaw said. "This has resulted in a loss of revenue and decreased the number of students and prospective student-athletes who have visited our stadium and campus.
"Coach Morriss and I are in agreement that it is in the best interest of our football program and the community to move forward with installing this surface in the coming weeks," he added.
The Prestige System is manufactured and warranted by Tarkett-Sommer, the world's largest company in the synthetic turf business, and is currently being utilized at Notre Dame, Tennessee, Colorado and Iowa, among others.
"We are excited about the opportunity to play on the new surface, which we believe will be one of the best in the nation," Morriss said. "This move will help keep our players healthy and enhance our recruiting efforts. I believe it is another step forward for our program."
Tarkett-Sommer has over 25 years experience in the manufacturing of synthetic turf and other sports related surfaces. Track Masters, Inc., located in Mansfield, Texas, is the regional installer of the Prestige System.