HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — James Madison University is preparing to replace its football field with a new kind of synthetic turf.
According to a press release from the university, Bridgeforth Stadium's Zane Showker Field will be replaced with a FieldTurf synthetic system and will get a new design in the process.
“We are excited to bring a new look and feel to Bridgeforth Stadium in 2019,” JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. “There are several factors behind this turf upgrade, most importantly the well-being and maximized performance of our student-athletes. As a result of the full scope of activities that occur in Bridgeforth Stadium, there has been significant wear and tear on the Zane Showker Field surface. This will place our student-athletes in a better position to succeed in preparation and performance while also adding an updated, aesthetically-pleasing branded look to our facility.”
The school will be employing Carolina Green Corp. as its contractor to install the surface, with installation beginning on May 6, expected to take two months.
The process will begin right after commencement in the stadium.
FieldTurf Revolution 360 is described as "an industry leader in synthetic surfaces as the choice of more than 300 professional and collegiate organizations in North America." JMU says it will have optimal durability, resilience, and feel, and will be a newer generation of the turf previously installed in Bridgeforth.
What about the new design? It will feature the JMU Athletics brand that was launched in 2017, including their main logo at midfield and a "James Madison" wordmark in the purple endzone identical to the design featured in JMU's national championship appearances at Toyota Stadium in Frisco in 2017 and 2018.
The new design will also include a wider purple border around the field, more gold and white striped boxes in the team bench areas along with the "Dukes" wordmark, and a more prominent display of "Zane Showker Field" on opposite corners of the sidelines.
“JMU invests in its student-athletes and in its facilities,” Football Head Coach Curt Cignetti said. “That has been clear since before I arrived and this project is a testament to that approach. Everything about JMU is first class, and that includes this new surface installation. Our student-athletes look forward to a new competitive experience this fall.”
Carolina Green also installed the turf on JMU's field hockey field and softball fields. They'll also be installing new turf for Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park prior to the 2020 season.
JMU's first football game on the new field will be Saturday, Sep. 7 when they host Saint Francis at 6 p.m.