Posted by: marcmwm | May 8, 2009

Kinnick Stadium @ 12:15 p.m. today (Friday)

Michael Graham, a UI chef and one of the folks behind the website, Hawkeye Hideout, posted this photo of the Kinnick Stadium field on Twitter today at about 12:15 p.m.

It looks as though the green portion of the FieldTurf will be the next step.

This is Kinnick Stadium at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. The UI is in the process of putting FieldTurf down and fixing the drainage system at Kinnick. The Hawkeyes open the season at Kinnick against Northern Iowa on Sept. 5. (Photo courtesy of Michael Graham).

This is Kinnick Stadium at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. The UI is in the process of putting FieldTurf down and fixing the drainage system at Kinnick. The Hawkeyes open the season at Kinnick against Northern Iowa on Sept. 5. (Photo courtesy of Michael Graham).

In May 2007, FieldTurf was the athletic surface for 2,000 sports facilities worldwide. For 48,000 hours of use, the maintenance of FieldTurf costs $15.21 an hour compared to $65.71 for real turf, according to FieldTurf’s literature.

I believe what we’re seeing here is the silica sand. Going on FieldTurf literature, there will be another layer of cryogenic rubber before the actual fake green stuff is applied. In 2007, FieldTurf was in 39 NCAA FBS stadiums, including Michigan, Minnesota (don’t know about the new stadium), Ohio State and Wisconsin.

The same stuff is going into Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids. Check out Jeff Linder’s blog for details on Kingston.

EDIT: The UI just posted a puzzle graphic that will unveil the new field in the next few days.

My guess? I remember Kirk Ferentz was once asked about putting a big TigerHawk in the middle of the field. His response was something like, “Well, it’d be upside down for half the people.”

If anything, I’d guess it’d be a big block “I,” but I’m going to guess it’s going to be classic design, just as old Kinnick was.



  1. The official site has some more photos of the FieldTurf installation from yesterday.

    Also, just for more info on FieldTurf, 50 FBS stadiums had it in 2008 and …compare that to 53 that had natural grass. It’s amazing that the majority is no longer grass. In fact, in 2009 Iowa will only play 3 games on grass: Iowa State, Penn State, and Michigan State (I guess state schools like grass.)

  2. Good stuff, FFI.

    That is interesting about the state schools. I know ISU has a turf management department. Wonder about MSU and PSU.

  3. The official site just updated while we were talking about this. They have a FieldTurf puzzle that is groing to reveal what the new field will look like. The puzzle idea is pretty funny, but I’m excited to see that design.

  4. Great find, FFI.

    My guess is classic design, just like the old Kinnick field. I’m not sure Ferentz is big on big logos.

  5. looks like nothing at midfield. I sure wish there was either a tiger hawk or a gold I at midfield. Not sure why they won’t budge on that.

  6. Two birds with one stone?

    Take the water tower and dip it on the midfield logo before the paint sets.

    Boom! Two birds, one stone.

    Kidding, kidding.

  7. Marc, I understand the maintenance cost issue, but what is the benefit to the game of football and the football player to play on field turf? Is there any data on injuries on real vs field turf?


  8. ag schools with turf programs tend to be grass schools. Purdue invented the old turf Iowa played on. The Boilers now play on a hybrid Bermuda that works in the north. The new field turf is very good for places like Iowa and Michigan where they had trouble growing grass. The injury factor is nothing like Astro-Turf.

  9. I think it’s purely cost, Pete. By that, I mean maintenance. Plus, I’m not sure Kinnick drainage will ever be perfect. I think that south endzone drains to the field.

    The sad part about this is Iowa’s turf crew really had it going last year. Ferentz noted many times the great shape Kinnick turf was in last season.

  10. If the south end zone drains back onto the field, why not just put a crown on the whole thing? It wouldn’t have to be as dramatic as old Texas Stadium or Wrigley Field (before it got resurfaced), but just something where the water drains away from the playing surface.

    As much as the U of I is paying for the new field, I would hate to think that the drainage problem wouldn’t be completely solved.

    Another thing, I don’t think the school would put up a web page unveiling the new field design if it’s the same as it was before. Just a thought.

  11. I like the puzzle thingie. I think it’s Ferentz’s call and I don’t see him dressing it up. Could be wrong, and, Doug, your logic certainly trumps my stab-in-the-dark hunch. That makes sense!

    I’m certain the field is crowned. I’m sure the south endzone thing will be remedied with this. There’s just too much money and thought going into this to get it wrong . . . you’d think.

  12. They just removed another piece. Reminds me of major league. Looks like a solid black endzone with gold lettering.

  13. The other probably will be gold with either “Iowa” or “Hawkeyes” written in it.

    I’m not surprised the 50 is logo-less.

  14. I think every major college field has a crown, but the size of it can vary. When I lived in Oklahoma in the mid-late 80s, I saw some of the college and high school fields. The crowns were outrageously tall, and I was told that it had nothing to do with drainage and everything to do with the popularity of the wishbone offense and the ability to run “downhill” to the sideline. You had to adjust your passing game accordingly. Whatever crown Iowa puts in, I suspect it would be only as high as absolutely necessary for drainage.

  15. Don’t you always have to place Historic in front of Kinnick stadium when you write or talk about it.

  16. FYI, that’s not the silica sand. There’s a chance that this is a thin layer of fiber-reinforced sand over stone base, but what they’re likely doing in this picture is rolling out the stone base material at a specified grade–probably a 0.5% or 1% slope. When this is compacted and the grades are checked the green carpet will be laid down much like a regular carpet you’d find in a building. They will then cut out the colored items (endzone and center logo). Then they will blend the silica sand and the crumb rubber together and topdress it so it fills in between the carpet fibers.

    If everything goes well, they could be done in a couple of weeks.

  17. Thanks, Cairo.

    Sounds as though you really know what you’re talking about.

  18. I wish Iowa’s new FieldTurf had a logo on the 50-yard line, and it should be either of the following:
    1. TigerHawk logo
    2. Logo with the hawk in Iowa football uniform
    3. The block letter “I” in black and gold
    4. A map of Iowa in gold with the Tigerhawk logo in black (maybe add a small star to locate Iowa City)

  19. The new field turf is completly flat! The way a field should be. That crown thing is nuts!

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