University of Sioux Falls Partners with AstroTurf to Replace Football Turf with Soy-Based Product

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The University of Sioux Falls has selected AstroTurf to bring soy technology to its football program.

"We felt a connection with AstroTurf and were encouraged by their active interest in what we needed done at Bob Young Field. As a result, the field will have a fresh and impactful look while providing safety for our student-athletes."

With a tie to agriculture, the University of Sioux Falls has partnered with synthetic turf pioneer AstroTurf to install a visually stunning grass-like surface at Bob Young Field located at the University of Sioux Falls Sports Complex (69th and Cliff). The turf will be manufactured from a soy-based synthetic grass.

“At a time when we needed to upgrade our turf, AstroTurf stepped up as a partner and worked with us to make this project come together,” said USF Director of Athletics Josh Snyder. “It was important for us to have the connection to agriculture due to our relationship with farmers such as the late Ron Eiesland,” he said.

Replacement of the turf at USF Stadium will begin on Wednesday, May 13. The new turf should be in place in approximately six weeks which is well in advance of the start of football season against U-Mary on Saturday, Sept. 5.

From the outset, AstroTurf took the initiative to be USF’s partner in the turf project, according to USF President Mark Benedetto. They took the extra steps to ensure that all the University needs were met, including student-athlete safety, as well as product performance, university branding and more.

“We are very excited about the new turf being installed at Bob Young Field,” said Benedetto, who visited AstroTurf officials at their home corporate location of Dalton, Ga., more than six months ago. “We felt a connection with AstroTurf and were encouraged by their active interest in what we needed done at Bob Young Field. As a result, the field will have a fresh and impactful look while providing safety for our student-athletes,” added Benedetto.

AstroTurf also assured USF that the new turf would have a long life expectancy.

“Clearly, we were concerned about various aspects of this product, including how long it will hold up to a heavy grind of practices, games, other events, and wear and tear,” said Snyder. “But after visiting with AstroTurf officials, including Jason Berning, all our questions were answered. We are ready to move forward," he said.

The new turf will include a purple cougar, outlined in white located from the 35-to-35 yard lines. The end zone will have a gray background with “SIOUX FALLS” and “COUGARS” in large purple lettering, outlined in white.

“Clearly we are excited about the opportunity to partner with a winning company,” said USF head football coach Jed Stugart, whose football program is coming off a school-best 11-1 record at DII and is excited for the new turf and the 2015 season.

“This turf revitalizes the look at our stadium. And, most importantly, addresses safety needs of student-athletes,” said Stugart. “In a very exciting time at USF, this turf replacement will continue to build on the momentum of the football program but other programs as well. It will aid the university in various ways, including helping in recruiting student-athletes,” he said.

USF’s new turf is a renewable product, AstroTurf ® 3D, incorporates BioCel™ soy-based polyurethane, in the backing to which the grass-like turf is rooted. Manufactured by AstroTurf, LLC, the soy backing is produced by incorporating soy oil to manufacture a bio-based polyol, which replaces a significant portion of the petro-based polyol in the old turf. The renewable soy-based backing extends the turf’s life, reduces dependence on foreign oil and supports American farmers, noted Snyder.

The turf system also features a RootZone® infill stabilization system, an extra layer of crimped fibers that act like a net to keep the sand and rubber infill in place. The effect is reduced infill migration, leading to a more uniform surface that provides consistent shock attenuation, withstands wear and tear, and holds up better to UV exposure than traditional turf systems. An added benefit to the 3D product line is improved cleat release owing to the RootZone, according to independently funded research at Michigan State University.

The USF Sports Complex was opened on Sept. 1, 2007 and has continued to be developed over time. By the 2010 season, the press box and donor suites had been completed. The field was named in honor of legendary Hall of Fame coach Bob Young on Sept. 1, 2010.

The turf being replaced at the stadium was originally placed in 2005 and has had an eight-year run when the Cougars’ football program had a reign of dominance at the NAIA level with championships in 2008 and 2009 before a runner-up finish in 2010. Since 2010, USF has continued its excellence at NCAA DII, including three straight winning seasons (9-2, 6-5, and 11-1). It fits the long run of success, unmatched by any school in the region. USF has 21 straight winning seasons, including five straight and a 44-13 mark with head coach Jed Stugart.

Snyder noted that USF will salvage pieces of the turf which will be used for memorabilia as well as possible fundraising uses.

“We value the history of this stadium and the turf being replaced has served the university very well,” said Snyder. “We think alumni and others may want to have a piece of the turf.”

Aside from football, the turf is utilized in training by the other programs at USF. It is also utilized by Sioux Falls Christian High School who play all their home games at the field.

Located in Sioux Falls, S.D., the University of Sioux Falls is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

About AstroTurf:
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf has redefined the way the game is played. The company offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry’s first vertically integrated manufacturing system. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit http://www.AstroTurf.com.

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Sydney Squires
AstroTurf
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