Byrne & Jones installed FieldTurf's Duraspine PRO turf.

New Saluki Stadium at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

The Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIU-C) Salukis have made post-season football playoffs as much as the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Now the teams will share the same type of playing field. St. Louis, Mo.-based Byrne & Jones Construction, Inc. has completed the $874,000 installation of a high-end artificial turf field at the brand new Saluki Stadium at SIU-C in Carbondale, Ill. Completed in early July, Byrne & Jones installed FieldTurf’s top-of-the-line Duraspine PRO turf – the same artificial turf used by the perennial playoff team, the New England Patriots. The Saluki’s first game on the new field is slated for September 2.

Following the excavation and rough grade of the new space, Byrne & Jones installed a perimeter drain and collection pipe that circles the field. The high clay content of the soil required amending to improve its ability to support the turf. Byrne and Jones deployed its new division, Midwest Stabilization to treat the soil with lime to provide a stronger base for the turf.

Following soil preparation, Byrne & Jones laid a fabric across the entire field. Atop the fabric are one-inch-thick by 12-inch-wide flat-panel, on-center hydraway drains in a herringbone pattern, followed by six inches of clean rock. Prior to final carpet installation, Byrne & Jones laser-graded the surface rock with a machine controlled guiding system.

The new turf, featuring two-and-one-half-inch grass blades, was installed in 15-foot-wide (five-yard) panels that stretch from sideline to sideline. Twenty panels form the playing field, followed by additional pieces for the sidelines and end zones. The panels of turf were sewn together, and then patterns were cut into the grass for stripe, number and logo placement. Byrne & Jones completed the installation by adding a sand and rubber mix infill over the entire carpet until only one half-inch of grass blade was visible.  

“The Saluki football team has the second longest streak in the country of landing in the playoffs,” explains Jason King, associate athletic director at SIU-C. “Our brand new stadium and playing field needed to match that excellence. We are very excited about the upcoming season in our new facility and playing surface.”

The high-end Duraspine PRO artificial turf is considered to be safer than natural grass. Additional benefits to SIU-C include less field maintenance, such as mowing, striping, fertilizing and reapplying sod. The new turf has a 10-year lifespan. 

The new Saluki Stadium replaced McAndrew Stadium, built in 1939. At $25.3 million, the 37,000-square-foot U-shaped facility designed by 360 Architecture, has 12,000 fixed seats plus lawn seating – for a total capacity of 15,000 – and a lower concourse with concessions areas, restrooms and storage.  It also features a press box and club area with 12 private, enclosed luxury suites.