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Notre Dame’s new fake turf has been installed

The turf makeover in South Bend has been completed. After decades of playing on one of college football’s most iconic grass fields, Notre Dame’s new artificial turf has been installed in Notre Dame Stadium, complete with a logo at midfield.

Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick announced during Notre Dame’s spring game in mid-April the plan to tear up the natural grass turf and replace it with a top-of-the-line artificial turf. The plan was to have the field ready by mid-August, so it would seem Notre Dame is ahead of schedule with that initial plan. As previously noted, Swarbrick had been contemplating making the move from natural to artificial grass for years but finally received support last fall as the field had been heavily criticized.

This is a blow for traditionalists of course, but most changes in college football these days are. Notre Dame not cutting the grass to slow down teams excelling in speed is now gone, perhaps now giving an added advantage to any visitor with a good reputation for speed, but now Brian Kelly and his staff can look to use the turf to their advantage as well. The cost to maintain an artificial turf should also be an advantage for the university over the long run. Notre Dame started selling off pieces of the natural turf in May, starting at $149.95.

Still, this just doesn’t seem right for some reason.

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24 Responses to “Notre Dame’s new fake turf has been installed”
  1. cubano76 says: Jul 24, 2014 10:51 AM

    For $149.95, Froto better show up at my house and plant it himself!

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 24, 2014 10:52 AM

    What a shame…. Was one of the most iconic fields in the sport…. now it looks like any other cookie cutter field turf…

  3. dmarado says: Jul 24, 2014 11:00 AM

    Actually, the turf is real, the grass is fake.

  4. baldyscotsman says: Jul 24, 2014 11:02 AM

    I just don’t get it….. IT WAS JUST GRASS!!!! I love Notre Dame but ND did not invent grass, they were not the first team to play on grass and they were not the team to make grass awesome. I have played on turf and it is very very nice, it gives a little more on impacts and it is very consistent–grass is not (especially in November). So quit whining about traditions….ND has a lot of them–But GRASS is not one of them.

  5. dmarado says: Jul 24, 2014 11:02 AM

    And Judas Priest, Kev, “Still, this just doesn’t seem right for some reason.” Could you be a lazier writer? Why not, “Still, this grates against my love of tradition,” or “Still, Notre Dame should have kept the iconic natural grass because that is what I want to see at Notre Dame.” Don’t write like an 8th grader.

  6. kuukoa says: Jul 24, 2014 11:11 AM

    I guess Norte Dame won’t be able let the grass get long anymore when fast teams come to play them.

  7. ulteriorsun says: Jul 24, 2014 11:13 AM

    Near the end the grass was unmanageable at Notre Dame. It would have required a massive overhaul of the foundation just to get in the necessary systems to maintain a grass field like Lambeau does, and it would require a massive contract or in-house agriculture program to make sure it was maintained properly. Taking care of grass playing surfaces in the north, especially in northern Indiana near a lake, is brutal.

    To be honest I don’t know how you can even think it was an advantage, given the condition Notre Dame’s field was constantly in. The soil was always poor and patches were missing only a few games into the season, and injuries the last few years have been unnecessarily high playing at Notre Dame Stadium.

    All anyone screaming about tradition at ND needs to be worried about is the slash marks in the endzones, and those are still there!

  8. routerunner says: Jul 24, 2014 11:13 AM

    The absolute least they can do at this point is keep the slashes in the end zones. They better not have something else decorating the end zones.

  9. thekatman says: Jul 24, 2014 11:15 AM

    If moving from real turf to fake is tyrf is all they’re doing in today’s CFB world then so be it; ext thing ya know they’ll go the Oregon route with a closet full of drag queen uniforms, like most other teams.

  10. manik56 says: Jul 24, 2014 11:27 AM

    The fake grass is just ugly. Ohio Stadium hasn’t been the same since. I imagine many ND fans will feel the same.

  11. subalum says: Jul 24, 2014 11:45 AM

    Notre Dames tradition is winning football games. Last 20 years they haven’t done the best job of living up to that tradition. Everyone crying about turf, music in the stadium, potential video boards etc need a reality check. ND can try to stay on pace with the cutting edge football programs or they can become the Chicago Cubs of college football… Passionate fans with a traditional game day experience but will never realistically put a winning product on the field. I for one choose winning.

  12. eagles512 says: Jul 24, 2014 12:08 PM

    Can’t stand turf

  13. oldschoollyons says: Jul 24, 2014 12:13 PM

    Grass is clearly preferable aesthetically and it would have maintained the field the way everyone is used to seeing it. Unfortunately, even granting that Swarbrick left the field in awful shape for the spring game in order to show the need for turf, in recent years — despite trying — ND was unable to keep the field in even decent shape.

    I haven’t seen any study of injuries to ND players on our grass compared to injuries to our players on visitors’ turf. But the field certainly looked conducive to foot, ankle and knee injuries. Stepping in a divot hole, twisting or at speed, can’t be a good idea. So, unfortunately, grass had to go. We should accept it because there seemed to be very little choice.

  14. dryzzt23 says: Jul 24, 2014 12:33 PM

    Wait a second…PFT/MSNBC/NBC is standing up for something…..traditional? At a Catholic school no less.

    This must be opposite day ro something.

  15. jackrush0826 says: Jul 24, 2014 1:51 PM

    Routerunner: Fear not! The “hashmarks” in the end zones are here to stay.

    There are a total of eighteen (18) of them and each is at an angle of 42 degrees in relation to “Touchdown Jesus”. Father Sorin founded the University in 1842. GO IRISH!!

    Jack Rush
    Subway Alumni
    Class of ’69

  16. denvernd1 says: Jul 24, 2014 2:13 PM

    ND fans are loving the Turf. Last year due to the weather and area they had to replace the grass 3 different times. The Turf looks good. Next year the Jumbotron will come in.

  17. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Jul 24, 2014 3:05 PM

    Fake girlfriends? Now fake turf? ND traditions are awesome! Can’t wait for college football.

  18. baldyscotsman says: Jul 24, 2014 3:46 PM

    elway–

    I am a ND fan—-but that was funny. And I can’t wait for college football either.

  19. wick0926 says: Jul 24, 2014 5:58 PM

    I just never understood the theory of letting the grass grow long against fast teams….doesn’t this equally slow down your team too?

  20. drummerhoff says: Jul 24, 2014 6:57 PM

    Fake grass at ND? Every ND fan always said this day would never come and here it is …. Just like conference membership.

  21. irishdodger says: Jul 24, 2014 10:02 PM

    @wick,
    You are correct. This was a popular conspiracy theory when ND was struggling during the Davie/Willingham/Weis era. It never slowed anyone down b/c of the height but it did affect players’ cuts b/c chunks of sod would be uprooted every time a player cut which led them to fall down. I for one, am all for the field turf.

  22. krabklusterklepto says: Jul 24, 2014 10:12 PM

    They can still slow down fast teams, just let Lou Holtz spittle around before kickoff. That field will be under 2 inches of thlop in no time.

  23. glowplugv says: Jul 25, 2014 12:05 AM

    Stop making up ND traditions. Was the grass a clone of a clump found on a cleat of Gipp’s shoe. I seriously doubt that so what is the big deal about putting in a decent playing surface which actually does show ND traditions with the strips and logo? I mean they put a new stadium around the house that Rockne built. It ND’s “traditions” die? I agree with baldyscottsman that ND has a lot of tradition but playing on crappy grass is not one of them. Calling the new surface “fake turf” then whining about it not being right is pure BS. I bet that Knute Rockne would have jumped at playing on surface like Field Turf if he had the players to exploit it. He was an innovator and motivator and understood creating tradition is by winning not whining over a fake tradition.

  24. mikeevergreen says: Jul 28, 2014 12:58 PM

    “I bet that Knute Rockne would have jumped at playing on a surface like Field Turf”.

    More likely he would have INVENTED it. People fail to realize that he was part of the group in Notre Dame’s chemistry department that invented synthetic rubber.

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