Update On Baseball FieldTurf Installation At Frank Eck Stadium
January 23, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – As was announced in the fall on the University of Notre Dame
baseball team’s Twitter account (@NDBaseball), the artificial surface company
FieldTurf began installing a state-of-the-art artificial field at Frank Eck Stadium
in late October with plans to have the facility ready for play at the beginning of
the 2014 home slate in mid-March.
However, due to unseasonably poor weather around South Bend in November, an unknown
number of home games will be relocated to other stadiums until the project can be
finished with the hope of only playing a handful of games away from the Eck.
The surface, which will be completely artificial from the infield to the outfield
and around the outskirts of the playing area, is used by over 30 Division I teams
including several fellow ACC members.
“We are excited for FieldTurf at the Eck because it tangibly shows that Notre Dame
is very committed to the baseball program and developing the student-athlete,” said
head coach Mik Aoki. “FieldTurf provides our program with a consistent playing
surface day in and day out regardless of the weather. With South Bend receiving such
a wide variety of conditions, the surface will allow us to play some games early in
our home slate that we normally couldn’t have played. I can think of at least three
or four games during my three years here that if we had had an artificial surface,
we would have been able to play. The surface also allows us to practice outside in
the winter if the weather warms up for a day or two.”
With the blessing of FieldTurf management, Notre Dame administration and the
coaching staff, work began as soon as the fall season was completed in late October
with a projected finish date of March 1. However, work was interrupted earlier than
expected as South Bend was hit with heavy rains in early November and then more
snowfall than the average in late November with the BYU football game as a prime
example. The home finale was the coldest home game since 1991 and the first snow
game since 1992.
Once the weather clears, the FieldTurf workers will need approximately five weeks to
complete the installation.
As has been the case numerous times in the past, South Bend’s Coveleski Stadium –
home of the Arizona Diamondbacks' Class-A affiliate South Bend Silverhawks – will
serve as a home away from home for several of the Irish home contests. Notre Dame
played a three-game series at “The Cove” against Seton Hall in 2013. The Irish will
also travel to the U.S. Steel Yard, which is located in nearby Gary, Ind. Notre Dame
played host to Kent State at the facility last season. Chicago State’s brand new
baseball facility and Kalamazoo’s Homer Stryker Field could also feature Irish games
A release tomorrow will outline a special deal that will reward fans for purchasing
a season pass plan for the 2014 season.