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Luther's blue synthetic turf football field is nearing completion

Posted: Thu, Aug 3, 2017 12:14 PM
Senior football player Bryce Pierce of Decorah, Coach Aaron Hafner, and senior football player Trevor Joiner of Carlisle, admire the new turf (Photos by decorahnews.com's Becky Vande Lune)

"Legacy Field" is the new name of the football field at Luther College.  The field is the only blue turf field in the NCAA Division III colleges and universities in the United States.

Luther College Head Football Coach Aaron Hafner says, "Our kids couldn't be more excited. Everyone else we play against hasturf fields. It's unique, We are okay with being known for blue turf. It gives us recognition across the Midwest and the country."

Luther College had to contact the athletic department at Boise State University and receive permission to install blue turf, as Boise State has a registered trademark on their blue artificial turf. Permission was granted with restrictions on the marketing of the blue turf. Boise refers to theirs as "The Blue," so Luther will have to come up with their own unique name for their blue turf.

The price of the turf, which is being paid for through donations, had less to do with the signature blue color and more to do with the high quality of materials chosen for the field. The combination of AstroTurf 3D synthetic turf, Nike Grind infill (premium recycled material created from original Nike materials and products) and a Brock pad will reduce the impact force, protecting players and lessening injuries.

The base is a very important part of the field as it allows water to go through it. AstroTurf advertises it will stand up to seven inches of rain in an hour, with the drainage and tiling system they install.

A black and green border will go around the outside of the field, separating the track. "Carlson Stadium" will be written at one end of the field and "Legacy Field" on the other end in the turf.  The project should be completed by Friday, August 11th.

Friday, August 25th will be the first use of the turf--at a home scrimmage against the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

Official dedication of the new field will be Saturday, September 9th on Community Day, when the Norse will face St. Olaf.

"It's crazy the number of people who have stopped by to see the progress when they are out riding bikes or walking,"said Hafner.  He adds, "The first blue strip was laid down last Friday when RAGBRAI  came through. There were 30-40 people standing on the observatory deck, watching the progress. Everybody wants to check it out, now that the word is out and they've heard about it."

Bryce Pierce, Coach Aaron Hafner and Trevor Joiner
The completed turf will have blue, white, black and green colors
AstroTurf workers have been putting in 10+ hour days preparing the turf field
An AstroTurf worker carries layers of padding as they prepare to lay the next strip of turf