Citrus Bowl Goes To AstroTurf As New Field Installation Begins
The City of Orlando, in concert with Florida Citrus Sports officials, have selected AstroTurf® as the provider of the new playing surface at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. The selection took place following a detailed consultation with Stantec and Patrick Maguire, one of the world’s premier turf management and design firms and experts, respectively. Installation will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed prior to the September 5th MEAC/SWAC Challenge between Southern and Delaware State.
“We have been staging major events in the stadium for over 60 years where the athlete experience is of premium importance,” said Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan. “Hosting a large number of events in short time windows have challenged the ability to provide optimum field conditions and paint schemes needed for national television. With this improvement, we are very excited about our ability to provide one of the safest, most technologically-advanced playing surfaces in the industry to our customers.”
The first step in the process was employing the expertise of Stantec, a design firm that has aided in the design of field surfaces at sporting venues around the world, most notably the fast-track midseason effort to replace natural turf with synthetic at Gillette Stadium, home to the NFL’s New England Patriots. Stantec’s Maguire, a nationally-recognized expert in the design of athletics surfaces, helped oversee the selection process.
“The Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium is one of our country’s historic sporting venues,” says Patrick Maguire, LEED AP, Stantec Principal, and North American Sports Group Practice Leader. “We’re humbled to have been selected to help extend its versatility and begin to reinvigorate its reputation as a world-class stadium.”
The product chosen for the field is called GameDay Grass, the latest and most advanced product in the evolution of sports playing surfaces.
AstroTurf has made an investment in furthering research on synthetic turf fields and partnered with the University of Tennessee to create The Center for Safer Athletic Fields. Additionally, in a study at Michigan State University funded by NFL Charities, an AstroTurf product was determined to perform most like natural grass.
The field’s stable, multi-ply primary backing systems are covered with a heavy, environmentally-friendly BioCel coating for uniformity, consistency, and precise performance across the entire field surface, ultimately producing a natural-looking synthetic surface. The BioCel system provides additional environmental benefits as it employs highly-refined coal fly ash (residues from coal-burning) and bio-based polyols extracted from soybeans.
“This new AstroTurf® field is part of the City of Orlando’s $10 million investment in phase one improvements this year at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium,” said Orlando Venues Executive Director Allen Johnson. “These renovations will help the stadium remain competitive and allow us to sustain economic, educational, and cultural opportunities here in Orlando for our residents and visitors.”
Another benefit of the field will be water conservation. A typical, well-maintained grass field can use anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million gallons of water per year. The AstroTurf field eliminates that need, as well as those for pesticides and other chemicals.
Environmental and cost benefits will work in concert with the functionality of the field as the surface will also employ AstroTurf’s astroflect technology, a feature that dramatically reduces the field’s surface temperatures.