EL PASO, Texas (August 13, 2009) - Sun Bowl Stadium will get new artificial turf, a $500,000 project that will begin immediately.
UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull decided to replace the turf because it was nearing the end of its life span and injuries had become more common for the school's football players.
"The field was getting more and more dangerous, more of a hazard," Stull said. Construction on the new field is to begin this morning. It is expected to take 14 days, which leaves about a week to spare before the Miners' Sept. 5 home and season opener against Buffalo.
"I didn't realize it could be done this quickly, but it's going to happen," said football coach Mike Price, who is at camp with his team in Socorro, N. M. "I'm thrilled to death. This is the best thing we've done since I've been here, the most dramatic thing. It's going to help the players."
He told his staff the change would cut in half the number of injuries from a year ago.
Hellas Construction, the company in charge of installing fields at the new Cowboys Stadium and the Cotton Bowl, will lay the new field.
The existing turf was installed before the 2001 football season. UTEP originally intended to replace it after this season.
Stull said Hellas Construction could use multiple crews and work around the clock if it needed to. The football team usually practices at Glory Field, across the street from the stadium.
The new surface also will have removable mats in the end zone so UTEP's logos won't have to be painted over for the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl game.
Bret Bloomquist may be reached at