HANSON FIELD UNDERGOES TURF INSTALLATION
MACOMB, Ill. (July 7, 2011) - Hanson Field, the home of Western Illinois Leatherneck Football, will be undergoing a major renovation this summer. According to Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine, the current natural grass field will be removed and a Matrix Turf brand artificial surface will be installed by Hellas Construction. The project will officially begin this week.
Funds for the Matrix Turf were approved by the University's Student Government Association through student enhancement fees. The new surface will be completed by late August. The Leathernecks open their home schedule on September 10th against Jacksonville. The track and field enhancements are scheduled to be completed in late September.
Matrix Turf is one of the field surfaces used at Cowboy Stadium by the Dallas Cowboys, installed by Hellas Construction. The company also installed Matrix Turf at: Baylor University's stadium and indoor facility, the University of Texas El Paso, Texas Tech's practice complex and the Alamodome.
The Hanson Field project includes: removal of the current grass surface and the track and field jump pits, installation of the Matrix Turf and renovation of the field events area. The installation of a javelin runway, four new pits for the long jump and triple jump, and redesigning the discus/shot put area will take place. Total cost of the project is $1.3 million.
"Once again, our coaches and student-athletes extend a huge "Thank You" to the Student Government Association. The commitment to fund this project from the facilities enhancement fee demonstrates the students' support of all Leatherneck athletic teams," said Van Alstine. "We are very pleased to have the Matrix Turf product... if it's good enough for the Dallas Cowboys, it should be good enough for the Leathernecks."
According to Van Alstine, Hanson Field can now be utilized by more than the Leatherneck Football team.
"From the beginning, the field project was intended as one way to improve the aesthetics of the campus and enhance intramurals and recreation sports. The Marching Leathernecks will also benefit from the artificial surface. Obviously the new field will improve our teams' practice situations and improve the football game day experience with a state of the art surface," stated Van Alstine. "Western has a very competitive and well respected NCAA Division I football program. Clearly there was a need to modernize our football stadium and maintain pace with our competition."
This project is part of the Target: Western Forward Facility Initiative which was launched in September 2001. In 2007, the east side of Hanson Field underwent a renovation with seating and concessions stands. Future plans include: a video scoreboard display, the west side seating, and press box facility, coaches offices and campus classrooms. Source: