Installation of new turf in DakotaDome under way

Workers this week began the somewhat tedious task of installing a new AstroTurf field at the DakotaDome on the USD campus in Vermillion. This new surface replaces the artificial turf that had been in place on the Dome's gridiron for years.

Workers carefully roll out a section of AstroTurf onto an 8mm pad that they had sprayed with adhesive just moments before.  The new turf being installed in the USD DakotaDome is AstroTurf PureGrass, a tufted nylon product that provides exceptional, all-around performance. PureGrass was designed as a premium, multi-purpose, extra-plush turf with a high fiber density.

Photo by David Lias

"The new AstroTurf field at the DakotaDome will give us an overall improvement in the football program and with our facilities," said Sayler. "It will also provide us with a new and improved level of safety and performance for our student-athletes, as well as demonstrate our commitment to the program."

Senior Associate Athletic Director David Herbster was heavily involved in the decision-making process.

"We looked at numerous options," said Herbster. "We chose AstroTurf because of their breadth of experience and the facilities the product has been installed in. Our confidence in their body of work was extremely important. Also important were price and customer service. We felt like AstroTurf provided us with exactly what we needed."

Herbster visited several facilities, but was sold when he visited the indoor practice facility at the University of Kansas. The Jayhawks had the same kind of system that USD was looking for.

"When we saw the field at Kansas, we knew we wanted to have that in the DakotaDome," said Herbster.

The surface will be AstroTurf PureGrass, a tufted nylon product that provides exceptional, all-around performance. PureGrass was designed as a premium, multi-purpose, extra-plush turf with a high fiber density. The PureGrass system at the DakotaDome will not contain infill and is designed to be a portable system, which will rest on an 8mm pad.

The system will employ the AstroHopper conversion system, which is designed to allow for removal and storage of the field in a timely and cost-effective manner, to allow the DakotaDome to convert for other types of events.

The AstroHopper system rolls up field panels and maximizes storage capacity by eliminating wrinkles, bagging, or telescoping which can lead to increased surface wear, tear, and damage.

AstroTurf is backed by Textile Management Associates, Inc. (TMA), one of the leading suppliers to the synthetic turf industry.  Textile Management Associates, Inc. is part of a 35-year-old, family owned manufacturing group based in Dalton, Georgia. The company has owned the AstroTurf® brand, including all assets and intellectual property, since 2004.

This summer, the three largest indoor sports facilities in the Upper Midwest are getting new AstroTurf surfaces. Not only is the DakotaDome updating its AstroTurf surface, the FargoDome in North Dakota and the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. are also getting new AstroTurf fields.

The DakotaDome project will be complete in time for the Coyotes to take the field for their home opener against Colgate on Sept. 8.

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