SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame will be getting FieldTurf in its football stadium.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced near the end of the first quarter of Saturday's Blue-Gold Game that the synthetic turf be in place for the 2014 season.
Notre Dame will begin installing the turf after the university' commencement weekend, May 16-18. The project is expected to be complete Aug. 15.
"We had a strong predisposition to stay with a natural grass field," Swarbrick said in a statement. "However, the reality is that in two of the last three seasons since we moved Commencement to the Stadium we have been unable to produce an acceptable playing surface. That, combined with the likely impacts of future construction at the Stadium, led me to conclude that we would continue to struggle to maintain a grass field that meets the expectations of our student-athletes and fans as it relates to appearance, performance and safety.
"Synthetic turf will assist our game preparation because our team will be able to play and practice on the same surface. We will also be able to utilize the Notre Dame Stadium field for practices on home football Fridays and other occasions, whereas that is currently unrealistic. Additionally, this change allows us to eliminate the risk to players posed by the asphalt perimeter that has to be maintained around our current field."