What's buzzing:

Notre Dame to install artificial turf at stadium

AP - Sports
Notre Dame to install artificial turf at stadium
.

View gallery

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame will break with tradition and replace the grass surface at the stadium known as the ''House Rockne Built'' and install artificial surface before the upcoming football season.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the university would have preferred to stay with natural grass, but said field conditions in recent years made the change necessary.

''I was looking for a way to see if we could still do it, but I reached the conclusion, between the end of last season and this that we really couldn't,'' he said.

Among the factors that went into the decision were the university holding commencement at the stadium in recent years, which he said has made it harder to maintain good field conditions, and a proposed $400 million construction project that call for buildings to be added on three sides with the goal of getting more use out of the facility.

''We needed to make the change now if we were going to give our student athletes the playing surface they deserve,'' he said.

Swarbrick said the change could allow the stadium to be used for other events, specifically mentioning an outdoor hockey game.

Last year the university installed new sod at the stadium four times, including twice during the season. Swarbrick said after seeing the Irish play on a torn up field on Sept. 28, ''Notre Dame can't have a field like we had against Oklahoma again.''

Coach Brian Kelly had said previously he wanted FieldTurf installed, but there was backlash from fans and alumni who oppose changing the traditions at Notre Dame Stadium. Kelly said after the Blue-Gold game on Saturday that the change will allow the team to practices sometimes at the stadium.

''We want to be able to get out there with our team. We want some safety issues to be not part of the equation,'' he said.

He said in his four years at Notre Dame the field conditions haven't been good.

''This is the best option available to us,'' he said.

The university announced during its spring Blue-Gold game Saturday that installation of FieldTurf will begin after the commencement ceremony on May 18 and should be completed by Aug. 15.

The Irish open the season Aug. 30 at home against Rice.

View Comments (78)
  • Reichelt edges Jansrud in World Cup downhill training

    Reichelt edges Jansrud in World Cup downhill training

    GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) -- Hannes Reichelt was quickest in the final training session Friday for a World Cup downhill on the demanding Kandahar slope. … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Arsenal need 'strong response' against Everton - Wenger

    Arsenal need 'strong response' against Everton - Wenger

    By Michael Hann LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal need to find a "strong response" against Everton in the Premier League on Sunday after their miserable Champions League defeat by AS Monaco, manager Arsene Wenger said. The Gunners' hopes of reaching the … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • Ex-Sainsbury's boss King takes advisory job at 2 Sisters

    Ex-Sainsbury's boss King takes advisory job at 2 Sisters

    Justin King, the former chief executive of British supermarket Sainsbury's , has returned to the food sector, taking up an advisory role at privately owned supplier 2 Sisters. 2 Sisters, which supplies grocers with ready meals and also owns brands … More »

    Reuters - 28 minutes ago
  • Taekwondo fighter eyes nationality switch for next Olympics

    A top-ranked taekwondo fighter from Britain is seeking to change his nationality to Moldovan to ensure he qualifies for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The British Olympic Association says it is aware of the written request by Aaron Cook, who … More »

    AP - Sports - 30 minutes ago
  • UCI recommends Astana team be stripped of elite status

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) wants the sport's licencing commission to strip the Astana team of their elite status after an investigation into doping, the ruling body said on Friday. Kazakhstan-based Astana, whose team includes Tour de … More »

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago