Ole Miss Head Coach Houston Nutt announced Thursday the selection of FieldTurf to be installed at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field in time for the September 19 home opener against Southeastern Louisiana. FieldTurf is considered the world leader in artificial turf.
“After looking at all the different synthetic turf providers available, we felt FieldTurf was the best choice,” Nutt said. “It looks like grass, it feels like grass and it plays like grass. FieldTurf’s track record and their client list are second to none nationally, and their product is a vast improvement over our current surface. We also feel that FieldTurf’s commitment to player performance and safety was a major factor in our decision. We can’t wait to get going on our new field.”
“Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is one of the most historically significant stadiums in college football, and it’s an honor to now be part of the tradition of that facility,” said FieldTurf CEO Joe Fields. “We are pleased that the University thinks so highly of our product. Everyone at FieldTurf is completely committed to providing the Rebels and their fans with the absolute best, safest, world‑class surface in existence. This should be of great benefit to Coach Nutt and his players.”
“This project will cost approximately $500,000, and we are grateful to have two anonymous donors who are covering that cost,” Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone said. “Once again, our supporters are stepping up to enable our student-athletes to play under the best possible conditions.”
Ole Miss becomes the first team in the Southeastern Conference to play their home games on FieldTurf. Currently four other SEC teams – Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt – practice on FieldTurf. The new FieldTurf at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will replace the AstroPlay that was installed in 2003. The FieldTurf installation begins immediately.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was first built in 1915, and has a long history of playing its home football games on artificial turf. In fact, the stadium had been among the first in the nation to switch from a natural grass playing surface to artificial turf in 1970. Recent renovations to the stadium have included new seating, luxury boxes and a new high definition video scoreboard.