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)
  • Kyrgios stunned by criticism back home, asks for respect

    Kyrgios stunned by criticism back home, asks for respect

    Nick Kyrgios has been stunned by the ferocity of criticism leveled at him over his behavior at Wimbledon and has called on his fellow Australians to show him respect even if they cannot love him. The 20-year-old said he had contemplated walking … More »

    Reuters - 13 minutes ago
  • Pujols, Trout homer, Angels rout Rockies

    Pujols, Trout homer, Angels rout Rockies

    The Los Angeles Angels' once-struggling offense is heating up. All-Stars Albert Pujols and Mike Trout hit two of Los Angeles' four home runs and the streaking Angels routed the Colorado Rockies 10-2 on Tuesday night. Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
  • Utah Jazz sign No. 12 draft pick Trey Lyles

    Trey Lyles received his first round of applause inside the Utah Jazz arena Monday evening as he sat in the stands watching summer league action. Lyles laughed when asked about the rumors that swirled while he went unsigned. ''I thought it was … More »

    AP - Sports - 18 minutes ago
  • Cubs sweep first DH from Cards since '92

    Cubs sweep first DH from Cards since '92

    Joe Maddon wants the Chicago Cubs to prove they can beat the best. Addison Russell hit a tying single and scored during a three-run rally in the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Tuesday to complete a day-night … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Pierzynski, Banuelos lead Braves over Brewers

    Pierzynski, Banuelos lead Braves over Brewers

    No matter how hot A.J. Pierzynski has been at the plate, he knows it's time for a day off. Pierzynski homered among his three hits, Manny Banuelos earned his first major league win and the Atlanta Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Tuesday … More »

    AP - Sports - 24 minutes ago