Notre Dame officials announced on Saturday that FieldTurf is coming to Notre Dame Stadium just in time for the 2014 season.
Installation of the FieldTurf surface is expected to begin after the University's Commencement ceremonies on May 16-18. The anticipated completion date is Aug. 15.
"I think you look at the conditions of the field today, going out there and it's really about getting a surface where there's some consistency week in and week out for our players," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. "I think today was an indication; we can't even practice out there."
The decision by the University to install FieldTurf makes sense for the football program considering they already practice both indoors and outdoors on artificial turf.
“We had a strong predisposition to stay with a natural grass field,” Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “However, the reality is that in two of the last three seasons since we moved Commencement to the Stadium we have been unable to produce an acceptable playing surface. That, combined with the likely impacts of future construction at the Stadium, led me to conclude that we would continue to struggle to maintain a grass field that meets the expectations of our student-athletes and fans as it relates to appearance, performance and safety.
“Synthetic turf will assist our game preparation because our team will be able to play and practice on the same surface. We will also be able to utilize the Notre Dame Stadium field for practices on home football Fridays and other occasions, whereas that is currently unrealistic. Additionally, this change allows us to eliminate the risk to players posed by the asphalt perimeter that has to be maintained around our current field.”
Notre Dame will also install FieldTurf to Frank Eck Stadium, which is the school's home baseball facility.