Here's a press release today from Gardner-Webb about its decision to add artificial turf to Spangler Stadium before this coming season.
BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb announced Thursday that Coach Norman Harris Field at Ernest W. Spangler Stadium will have a new artificial surface installed.
The initial phase of soil removal and laser grading started on Wednesday, June 25. More than 200 truckloads of material have already been removed.
The announcement signals the first major renovation to the stadium since 2004, with the project set for completion in early August, 2014. APT’s (Advanced Polymer Technology) RS+52T Gridiron turf is the surface of choice for the stadium.
APT (sportsbyAPT.com), the global leader in high-performance engineered sports surfaces, recently installed its state-of-the-art Gridiron brand turf at the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice facility in 2013. The company also has installed turf for the Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton indoor facility, as well as the Hank Crisp Indoor Football Center at the University of Alabama.
“With the addition of women’s lacrosse matches to the regular ledger of events at Spangler Stadium next spring, we were tasked with developing a solution that best fits the needs of our student-athletes in terms of safety and performance,” said Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch. “The benefits of an artificial surface, both in durability and consistency throughout a variety of seasons and conditions, were much greater for us.
“APT proved to be the best fit for our needs and allows us to deal with a single source manufacturer for this new surface. Their installations around the world have drawn high praise and we are excited to partner with an industry leader for this project.”
The new artificial surface will be the first on Gardner-Webb’s campus.
“We are thrilled to be associated with Gardner-Webb University’s plan to renovate Coach Norman Harris Field and Spangler Stadium,” said APT Director of Sales Gary Wilson. “Gridiron RS+ is the perfect surface for the type of high level athlete that Gardner-Webb recruits. With the growing concern in sports with head trauma injury, Gridiron RS+ supports the industry’s best performance characteristic balance for speed and safety.”
Spangler Stadium was built in 1966 with a natural grass surface, which has undergone several reconditioning projects over the past 40 years. The stadium benefitted from a major renovation in 2004, which resulted in the sparkling GWU Football Center and an overhaul of the Hamrick Field House – which now houses offices for men’s and women’s soccer, track and field and women’s lacrosse.
Coach Norman Harris Field was dedicated in 2007, honoring one of the founding fathers of Gardner-Webb athletics. Harris coached football, baseball and basketball at Gardner-Webb – combining to win more than 300 games during his time in Boiling Springs.
Ernest W. Spangler Stadium was rated No. 16 nationally out of 107 Football Championship Subdivision stadiums in early 2014 by StadiumJourney.com – drawing high marks from the website for its atmosphere, food and beverage offerings, fans and return on investment.
The 2014 football home schedule begins on Saturday, September 13 against Virginia-Lynchburg at 6:00 pm.
The Gardner-Webb women’s lacrosse program, under head coach Jacquelyn Duggins, will begin play with its inaugural home game on Saturday, February 7, 2015 against Limestone College.