Earlham College Announces Plans for FieldTurf at Darrell Beane Stadium
Release courtesy of Earlham College
RICHMOND, IN — Darrell Beane Stadium will have a new look when the Earlham College football team opens the 2012 season against Oberlin College on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Earlham Director of Athletics Mike Bergum announced on Wednesday that a synthetic playing surface and lights will be installed for the upcoming fall sports season. The upgrades are in response to recommendations that were proposed earlier this year by an athletics external review team.
“This is an exciting move for Earlham,” Bergum said. “This upgrade will benefit the entire campus and community. It will be a stress reliever for our existing facilities and provide opportunities for our entire student body.”
President David Dawson is also pleased with the transformation, which was made possible by a restricted capital project leadership gift from an Earlham alumnus.
“I’m very pleased that we are able to improve Darrell Beane Stadium to enhance both the facility and the playing experience of our student-athletes. We’re particularly indebted to the benefactor for making this upgrade possible,” said Dawson.
FieldTurf is the company selected to install the new surface in the stadium. A plan for the lighting of the facility is being developed and will be announced later.
“The addition of turf at the stadium not only allows that area to become a focal point, but provides us an opportunity to continue to plan, develop and build the necessary facilities for Earlham to grow,” Bergum said. “This is an exciting time on campus.”
Senior football player Dan Kerns is excited about the changes as he finishes his career.
“This being my final season, it’s great to know that we will have a field that is now on par with everyone else,” Kerns said. “The facilities upgrade will be great to end my career and I know it will really help our recruiting efforts in the future under Coach Neil Kazmierczak, with the help of Coach Matt Macy and the rest of the staff. It’s a very exciting time and awesome to hear. President Dawson is doing some really cool things to help athletics, the facilities, students and Earlham Pride.”
In addition to the football season opener, the Earlham field hockey squad is scheduled to play its first contest of the fall following the football game the same day.
“I am ecstatic that the field hockey team will be able to play on turf in the fall,” senior Kate Birdsall said. “We have been building a lot of momentum, and I think having access to turf will give us an extra boost. Playing on grass is very slow, so stick skills are a lot harder. Playing on turf speeds up the game and makes those skills easier. Since many of our opponents are turf teams, we'll now be more prepared to face those teams and be more competitive.”
“FieldTurf is very proud to welcome Earlham College to our family,” FieldTurf President Eric Daliere said in a statement from the company. “The Quakers will benefit from playing on a state-of-the-art surface, providing the school’s athletic department with one of the best facilities in the nation. We look forward to seeing Earlham Athletics continue to grow playing on FieldTurf!”
According to the company, the unique patented infill formula of cryogenic rubber and silica sand is what sets them apart from competing sports surfaces. Numerous studies, including one conducted by Dr. Michael C. Meyers of Montana State University and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, notes that FieldTurf is safer than natural grass and reduces the amount of serious injuries that occur while playing on the surface.
FieldTurf’s installations number more than 7,000 for a variety of sports. The company has a heavy influence in NCAA Division I football, as more than 70 teams play and/or practice on their product. Twenty-two of the 32 NFL teams that also play and/or practice on FieldTurf as well.
The high profile installations that use FieldTurf in their home stadiums include the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New York Giants/New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks from the NFL. At the college level, the universities of Nebraska, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, West Virginia, Illinois, Illinois State, Missouri, Texas, Texas Tech, Iowa, Rutgers, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Louisville all use the product.