COLUMBIA -- Missouri is one of three football fields with turf in the SEC...Arkansas and Ole Miss are the others. But only the Mizzou field has the newest item on the market. Call it Faurot's facelift, although the official name is field turf revolution, and it's the newest fiber on the market.
Josh McPherson, Missouri turf specialist, explained the process: "Just keep adding the sand and rubber to long pieces of carpet that are this long, get about this much sand and rubber, and then you are actually playing on something similar to a grass surface."
Now the field is set, other than some last minute measurements. Field designer Eric Becker talked about ensuring that the field is ready for play. "I had to come out and verify it to be sure it's installed correctly, because there have been times when it's not."
But taking a tape measure to the turf isn't the only test... Becker said, "We were testing the g-max rating on the field, which is basically the hardness of the field for safety concerns." Mcpherson said, "Artificial turf fields can get very hard, even though they are made with sand and rubber, they can get hard over time. So we're actually measuring how hard the field is."
The field features plenty of changes, including expanding the Tiger logo center-field. "We stretched it out big enough that it didn't cover up any of the lines. That was kinda the key because once it got onto where those hashmarks are in the center we'd have to put those hashmarks through the logos," McPherson explained.
Speaking of logos, you'll notice some new additions on the 25 yard line. Josh told us, "You'd see a difference of Big 12 logos over all the different fields. Once we joined the SEC, we got our manual, and they have very specific guidelines."
The endzones are black, the diamonds are gold, and the word "Mizzou" is displayed rather than "Missouri". And even though the field is artificial, it's still going to get watered before each game.
McPherson explained, "We'll add some fabric softener in with these water jets and actually spray that rubber down, and it actually looks like you are painting the field; the green pops a little more and the white looks whiter."
The contractors finished the field ahead of the June 28th completino date, which allowed Mizzou to hold football camps in early June. Mizzou budgeted one-point-five million dollars for the new field, Mcpherson says they are going to come in under that. As for the old field... it's headed to Jefferson City, where it will be used for youth soccer fields.