Arkansas announced Tuesday that it has chosen turf manufacturer Sportexe to lay a playing surface known as PowerBlade HP 2.5 in the stadium by Aug. 1.
According to Sportexe's Web site, the PowerBlade HP 2.5 contains sand and rubber, looks and feels like real grass but is "designed to maximize player speed and performance."
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced April 17 that the school had raised the estimated $1.1 million needed to install a synthetic playing surface in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The project will be paid for by private donations to the Razorback Foundation.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino has said he's in favor of the stadium going from grass to artificial turf. Long — who was unavailable for comment on Tuesday — said in April that a synthetic playing surface could allow the stadium to be used for non-football related events.
The Razorbacks will be the first Southeastern Conference team to play on an artificial surface from Sportexe. However, the turf manufacturer has provided fields for the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans and M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play.
Three other NFL teams — the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers — have Sportexe surfaces in their practice facilities.
"We are enormously honored that the University of Arkansas has chosen Sportexe as the synthetic turf for Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium," Steve Noe, Sportexe's chief executive officer, said Tuesday in a statement released through Arkansas' athletic department.
"The entire Sportexe family is focused on producing and installing an outstanding playing surface for the university."
The Razorbacks will play their first game on the new surface when they host Georgia on Sept. 19. Arkansas opens the 2009 season against Missouri State on Sept. 5 in War Memorial Stadium, which has a different type of artificial turf.
Bulldozers began digging up the grass in Reynolds Razorback Stadium immediately after the Red-White Game ended on April 18. Arkansas-based general contractor KINCO Constructors was hired to work with university officials to select a turf manufacturer.
Arkansas Picks Synthetic Turf For Stadium
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Scout On the Road: SeptemberScout takes a look at some of the top prospects we saw in person during the month of September...
Scout FootballYesterday at 2:00 PM
Longhorns Preview Oklahoma StateTexas offensive players discuss the Longhorns' upcoming game at Oklahoma State to kickoff Big 12 Conference play.
Horns DigestMonday at 6:21 PM
Louisiana CB 'Real Close' to a DecisionIt may not be too long before one of the top cornerbacks in Louisiana makes his decision. Four schools are high on his list and you can get the latest here...
Scout FootballMonday at 6:15 AM
JC defensive back talks ISU official visitOver the weekend, Iowa State played host to one of their top 2017 targets in the current recruiting cycle in Paramount, CA three-star JUCO CB Keisean Nixon. This visit for the…
AllCyclonesSunday at 6:34 PM