Field Replacement Update #2

Installers are packing the rubber infill pellets into the new RealGrass Pro carpet, as work continues at an exceptionally fast pace to prepare the University of Idaho's new field for the 2007 season. Inside we take a look at the pellet installation process which is just beginning.

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Installers at the University of Idaho started placing the infill in the new Dome RealGrass Pro turf this week. A "hopper" is used to spread out the rubber pellets, then the pelletized surface is driven over with a brushing machine. The brushes revolve counter-clockwise (opposite the direction of forward motion) to stand up the "blades of grass" and brush up the pellets. Right behind the brush is an attachment on the machine which knocks the pellets right back down into the fabric around the blades.

The process is meticulous for this initial installation and takes some time to get a substantial layer of rubber worked into the carpet (similar process used on the SprinTurf fields). From the stands, as shown in the photos below, it is possible to see where they've worked the pellets into the carpet and where the pellets remain on top of the surface to be packed.

The new surface is beginning to take form and will be a dramatic improvement over the old AstroTurf field which was removed this summer. We will continue to monitor developments the Dome in the days and weeks ahead, so stay tuned for more updates.

Early stages of rubber infill installation. The middle of the field has had the pellets "packed in" to the turf. The pellets towards the endzone have not yet been packed into the field.

Similar view as above photo, wider view of east end of Dome.

A look at the new I-Vandals logo at mid-field.

Looking north across the East endzone.

Looking close at the endzone lettering.

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