FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2014 CONTACT:
Huntington, WV, April 14, 2014- Marshall University Soccer has joined an exclusive club of NCAA programs playing on FIFA Recommended fields. FIFA, soccer’s highest governing body, has recently conferred FIFA 1-Star Certification, following field and lab testing, upon Marshall’s new AstroTurf® field at Veteran’s Memorial Soccer Complex on the campus in Huntington. That distinction makes Marshall’s one of only 25 FIFA-certified fields in the U.S., and in fact means the Thundering Herd will become only the second NCAA Division I soccer program in the country to play its home games at a soccer-specific stadium with a FIFA Recommended pitch.
Installation of the nearly 115,000 square foot field was completed in July of last year by Sports Construction Management, an AstroTurf distributor responsible for a number of successful projects in the region, including four FIFA Recommended fields at the Evergreen SportsPlex in Leesburg, Virginia. The surface is AstroTurf’s GT+ product, a synthetic turf system consisting of tufts of monofilament HorseShoe fibers with a sand and rubber infill. The omega-shaped fibers are more resilient, giving the field a consistency that players and coaches at Marshall believe gives them a distinct home-field advantage.
“The turf plays beautiful and without a doubt it is the nicest turf I have ever been on,” said Men’s Head Soccer Coach Bob Gray. “The bounce and the role of the ball is like playing on a well-manicured grass field and the fact that we train on it every day is a real luxury for our team. The people at AstroTurf have been great to work with and I believe that their product will have a huge impact on the soccer industry. The decision to use AstroTurf for our new stadium is the best decision we made for our new 8 million dollar complex.”
In situ FIFA Testing
The state-of-the-art field is the centerpiece of Veteran’s Memorial Soccer Complex, which opened in August of 2013. The venue was designed by the architectural team at AECOM, a company whose portfolio includes FedEx Forum, home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, and the delicate renovation of historic Lambeau Field, home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. The same blend of tradition and innovation involved in Lambeau’s expansion project is on display at Veteran’s, which was built on the grounds of the old Veteran’s Memorial Fieldhouse. The new stadium’s façade bears the original dedication found at the old field house, maintaining intact the tradition of honoring our nation’s veterans.
“The new turf on our soccer facility is first-class,” said Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick. “AstroTurf has an international reputation for producing some of the highest-quality turf in the business. Their efforts helped make our facility one of the finest in the nation and, for that, I am extremely grateful.”
Although a FIFA recommendation is a rarity for a Division I soccer stadium, AstroTurf is certainly no stranger to soccer. They are an approved FIFA provider and have installed several FIFA one and two star fields throughout the world, from Vancouver to Beijing. AstroTurf is making its mark across the American soccer landscape as well:
AstroTurf is the home surface of the NWSL’s Seattle Reign in Seattle, WA
The US Women’s National Team recently hosted Brazil on AstroTurf in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL, home to the Orlando City Soccer Club who was recently awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise
AstroTurf is the surface of choice for some of the top multi-field complexes in the US including Starfire Sports Complex (Tukwila, WA), Evergreen SportsPLex (Leesburg, VA), Rocky Top Sports World (Gatlinburg, TN) among others
AstroTurf is the Official Synthetic Turf Provider for CalSouth, the country’s leading youth and adult soccer membership association
“The undeniable trend in soccer toward artificial surfaces speaks to the increased demands and higher expectations by our sport,” said Anthony DiCicco, AstroTurf’s Director of Business Development for Soccer. “This FIFA Recommended project reflects AstroTurf’s ability to listen to the needs of Bob [Gray, Men’s head Coach] and Kevin [Long, Women’s Head Coach] and deliver exactly what they asked for. 2013 was an important year for AstroTurf’s evolution in soccer and we are using Marshall as a template for exactly how a soccer project should be; that’s a credit to everyone involved.”
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf has redefined the way the game is played. The company offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry’s first vertically integrated manufacturing system. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit www.astroturf.com.
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