East Central University’s Norris Field is receiving a makeover in its truest sense.
For the first time in the 80-year-plus history of the venerable football stadium, it will receive an artificial playing surface in time for the 2013 season.
The $880,300 surface, called Revolution, comes from FieldTurf Company, according to Stan Lewis of Architects in Partnership, P.C., of Norman.
The University of Missouri just had FieldTurf Revolution installed at its stadium, Faurot Field, in 2012. Several other NCAA Division I schools have the Revolution surface on their campuses including the University of Minnesota, University of Texas, University of Washington and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“We think this not only gives us an advantage in recruiting football players, but also recruiting other students to the university,” said ECU President John Hargrave. “The football field is the most visible place on our campus. Thousands of people visit ECU’s football stadium, whether it’s for band contests, football games, an Ada High football game or the little league football program. The entire community will benefit from this.”
A majority of the funding for the project comes from private donations from the Chickasaw Nation, Victor Pryor, Randall and Shirley Pogue, Wink and Rachel Kopczynski and Craig Scheef.
“We are very much appreciative to those who have helped make this project available and we’re appreciative of hearing ideas and further suggestions or help that we may get from the community, alumni and supporters,” Hargrave said.
ECU head football coach Tim McCarty believes the new turf field will not only benefit the football program, but the Ada community as well.
“I think it’s a great statement by the university and friends of the university that we are moving our program forward to be on par with the other great programs in the nation,” said McCarty. “This surface will be not just a great addition for the ECU football program, but for the great Ada community as well in that it will be able to be used year round.”