Field(s) of Dreams

By about this time next fall, the University of Idaho will have new synthetic fields flanking the East and North sides of the Kibbie Dome that will benefit the ENTIRE student body, including the Vandal athletic programs.

The University of Idaho, in cooperation with the Associated Students of the University of Idaho, is currently in the final planning stages of a major project that will provide the Idaho student body, including the athletic programs, with synthetic athletic fields on the North and East sides of the Kibbie Dome. The new synthetic fields will replace the existing grass fields.

Courtesy of The Idaho Athletic Department
Complete rendering of proposed changes.
(Kibbie Dome is the gold structure).

The synthetic infill fields will be made of composite layers. Above is an example of a 4 layer field.
The key point of this project is that it will improve life on campus for all user groups. The current natural grass limits usage, gets sloppy in bad weather and at times can be dangerous to users. The infill turf in conjunction with the installation of field lights, will allow the new recreation/athletic facility to be scheduled 16 hours a day, regardless of the weather. This new generation of turf eliminates turf burns and minimizes ankle, knee and foot injuries associated with older artificial turfs.

Classes and student clubs will be scheduled during the day. The student athlete will have access in the afternoon. In addition, the Intramural program will be able hold games in the evening. It has the scope to effect the entire student population, and is particularly impressive considering the newly completed Student Rec Center also on campus.

Courtesy of The Idaho Athletic Department
Detail view of East End Fields.

The direct impact on the student body is dramatic, and so is the impact on the football team. The Kibbie Dome's East End practice field will be renovated with two 80 yard, lighted fields. The two fields will be separated by a walkway, and will have a significant impact on how the team coordinates its practices during the season. For those of you close to the program who have seen these practice fields mid-season, it will also substantially improve the practice surface that currently gets heavily worn during the course of the football season.

Courtesy of The Idaho Athletic Department
Detail view of North End Fields.
On the North Side side of the Kibbie Dome, the fields that will be renovated will have an equally dramatic impact for all students, including the Vandal soccer team (these fields will also be available for football practices). The plan is for these fields to be configured for 2 adjacent soccer fields (not regulation size, but perfect for intramurals, classes, specialized practices, 3 on 3 training, corner kicks, etc.). Both fields will be lighted by 6 light sources. Additionally, the soccer fields can be reconfigured for 3 lighted practice fields if needed / desired.

Being a Vandal sports website, obviously the focus here is on Vandal athletics. However, the key to these dramatic upgrades is their impact on the student body. Vandal athletes have primary access to these fields in the afternoon, but in the morning and early afternoon they are set aside for classes. In the evening they are earmarked for use by Idaho intramural teams. Having these fields available 16 hours per day is a HUGE benefit for ALL students at the University of Idaho.

Idaho athletes will certainly benefit from these 4 artificial turf fields. But its ALL students at Idaho who will be the real beneficiaries.

I know that I wish we would have had something this impressive, this versatile, this USABLE for intramurals when I was a student...

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