Aug. 29, 2011
By Mark Janssen – K-State Sports Extra
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If the old expression “look good, play good” is still in vogue, Kansas State’s players are excited about the beginning of the 2011 season on their spiffy new AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D60H playing surface at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Initial responses to the new surface range from, “I like the purple,” to, “It’s softer,” to, “It’s better to cut on.”
As a written preview of what you’ll be seeing on Saturday when K-State opens the 2011 season against Eastern Kentucky in a 6:10 p.m. kickoff, expect a snazzy bright green field, accented with brilliant purple end zones, and all outlined in a pure-white.
“I love that deeper shade of purple,” said linebacker Arthur Brown.
Wide receiver Chris Harper adds, “It presents more purple.”
The purple is in each end zone accompanied by a sideline-to-sideline white “K-State” work mark and Powercat.
In the center of the field is a massive purple Powercat logo outlined in white, and outside of each corner of the field is the white “Kansas State University” logo.
“It looks dressy,” said safety Tysyn Hartman.
In the history of KSU Stadium/Bill Snyder Family Stadium, this is the fourth artificial surface, which all followed a natural grass field that was used in the first two years of the facility in 1968 and 1969.
The first AstroTurf field was purchased by K-State fans buying the fake stuff for $12.50 per yard at a total cost of $250,000.
Another new turf went down in 1980, and another in 1991 when lottery winners Dave and Carol Wagner of Dodge City donated the turf and the name of the field changed to Wagner Field.
That lasted through 2001 when a FieldTurf was installed, and now a $600,000 AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D60H is in place at the stadium. The turf carries an eight-year guarantee.
The new field features AstroTurf's revolutionary new Horseshoe fiber, which is an “Omega” shape with two end columns with a thicker diameter. The design imparts mechanical memory so that the fiber remains upright longer, unlike other fields whose fibers quickly flatten and split, or shred, at the spine.
“After looking at numerous options, we felt AstroTurf and its GameDay Grass was the best choice for us at K-State," said associate head coach and director of football operations Sean Snyder. “Some of the top professional stadiums and collegiate practice facilities in the country utilize this surface. The fibers and technologies used by AstroTurf will provide our student-athletes with a state-of-the art product that focuses on player performance and safety.”
Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, as well as numerous professional and collegiate practice facilities use the 3D60H surface.
Installation of the turf started on May 2, and was completed on June 6. The design of the field came from athletics graphic designer Ron Cook.
Through early practices, the new turf has lived up to expectations.
Tre Walker said, “You have better traction, and it hasn’t been as hot.”
Emmanuel Lamur added, “It’s much more comfortable to play on. Football is football as to what you play on, but it’s softer and feels more like a football field should.”
“It’s better on your knees and easier to cut on,” said Brown, while his younger brother Bryce said, “I’m sure it’s not a faster field, but it seems faster.”
Hartman added, “That old turf was really dated. You don’t have as much slipping on this one, and when you fall, you don’t get burned up.”
Offensive lineman B.J. Finney agreed by saying, “When you landed on that turf last year it hurt. It would beat you up. This year you can get some traction. Last year it was just a flat surface.”
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