Much to the delight of Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione, construction crews began working on the final upgrade planned for Kyle Field before opening kickoff against Montana State next Saturday night—the new EQUI-FLOR.
The new interlocking tiles of the new surface, which is commonly used at equestrian sites as well, will cover the old concrete track around the playing surface and gives the Aggies a non-slip surface that Franchione has been asking for since his arrival.
A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne and his staff have been looking for a surface to replace the concrete for quite some time, but because of the "souvenirs" left behind by Parson's Mounted Cavalry's equine friends, it made the search a little more difficult than just finding a surface that would give football players more traction.
Most stadiums could simply find a surface that gives players more traction after running out of bounds, but because of the infections that can be caused from the bacteria left behind by horses, A&M had to find an anti-microbial surface that meets all the health requirements for prevention of staph infection that can set in on cuts and abrasions.
"Our athletic trainers and our venerable director of facilities, Billy Pickard, said they have never dealt with a serious injury caused by the concrete, we have still looked diligently for a long time for something to cover it with," Byrne said. "We found it in EQUI-FLOR."
During the Aggies open practice for Coach Fran Charities 5K participants this past weekend, one of the A&M wide receivers went sliding into the concrete wall. Franchione is hoping this proactive measure by the A&M administration prevents injuries before they happen.
"I've said for several year snow that we need to (get rid of the concrete)," Franchione said. "Running in cleats on that concrete is really dangerous. Hopefully this surface will offer a little traction for when our guys get pushed out there."
The new dark gray covering on the track also gives the stadium a sharper look rather than the dull gray of concrete that gave the stadium a look that was more like a mausoleum before the renovations of the past two years.
"We could have had charcoal, or maroon but were warned it would weather its way to pink," Byrne said.
The new surface will also be used as a warm up area for track meets once the new indoor track facility opens.
A&M covers slippery track
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