The last 10 weeks have brought monumental change at Bill Clabo Field. The grass surface that covered the field for nearly 40 years was removed and a new artificial playing surface was installed. The process began on May 1st with the removal of the old grass surface. After four weeks weeks of removing the old surface, and dumping over thirty truckloads of dirt to build the playing surface level with the surrounding track, the first base layer of rock began to be graded. By the June 1st, the first layer of rock had been graded, and on June 3rd the new goalpost were installed, which
replaced the previous goalpost that were updated before the 2015 season with longer uprights, but had been at Bill Clabo Field for nearly 40 years.
After installing both goalposts and laying the last base layer of rock, a process that lasted until June 21st, it was then time to do the final grading of the surface and ready it for turf installation.
The final grade of the field was completed on June 24th and turf installation began the next day.
Once the installation process began, the playing field was covered quickly with the artificial turf, but the turf doesn’t have any markings, logos, or numbers on it except for the 5-yard markers. The process of inlaying the hash marks, sidelines, logos, yard makers, and end zone decorations proved to be the most time consuming part of the entire installation process, taking nearly four weeks. After finishing the playing field, attention turned to the installation of the sidelines. This is a large undertaking given there is a long jump pit on the home sidelines, which requires there be extra sideline space between the playing field and the pit.
After nearly three weeks of installing the sidelines, hash marks, logos, yard makers, and end zone decorations, on July 22nd the new Bill Clabo Field passed inspection and was ready for use.