Honors were announced at ASBA's Technical Meeting last year in Orlando. Entries were scored individually based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries were those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard.

American Sports Builders Association’s Field Award winners

Honors were announced at ASBA’s Technical Meeting last year in Orlando. Entries were scored individually based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries were those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard.

Single Field Facility Winner

In terms of facilities, PK Park at the University of Oregon is an outstanding two-season athlete. The facility serves as home field for the Ducks during the NCAA baseball season. Once school lets out, it hosts the Eugene Emeralds, a San Diego Padres class A Minor League baseball team.

And before that, it was a gravel parking lot that only saw use during Oregon’s home football games.

According to Aaron Olsen of Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Planning in Eugene, OR the project needed to be completed in two phases. The first phase created a field and temporary facilities in time for the inaugural season of the university’s baseball team in 2009. The program, which was being revived, previously had been disbanded in 1981, and now required an all-new home.

“Starting in 2008, our firm, in collaboration with the Phase I design team, participated in master planning/schematic design for PK Park to facilitate in giving the field a permanent location,” notes Olsen. “Phase I was comprised of the permanent construction of the  baseball field and subgrade drainage, field walls/fencing, outfield light structures, score board/video board, bullpens, player development area, and ADA parking.”

The outfield light support structures in the field were a custom design and a nod to the history of baseball and light structures at historical fields. 

“The concept began as a sketch our office prepared, and Musco lighting, along with engineers, took from concept to the built element,” said Olsen. “A synthetic turf playing surface, including the infield, batter’s box and warning track, was chosen for its consistent playability in the Northwest region during the NCAA season (February to June), which is consistently rainy.  Construction of temporary dugouts, bleachers, press box, and related site improvements was completed to accommodate the Oregon Ducks 2009 season.”

When the collegiate season ended, Phase II of the project got underway. Work included the stadium itself (including dugouts, locker rooms, concessions, etc.), field lighting, plazas, and spectator areas.

Shortly after the Ducks’ season ended, PK Park became a permanent home for the Eugene Emeralds. This also required some versatility on the part of the field, said Olsen.

“The batter’s box is designed to convert from synthetic turf during the NCAA season to clay for the minor league season. A permeable asphalt pad with concrete headers was constructed to ease the transition between the materials and allow both to fully function. The pitching mound is clay. The turf is a 2 ½” pile height. Infill is 1¾” deep totaling 9 pounds of sand and rubber per square foot. Crushed cinder rock, 1/8” minus, was installed at the warning track to create a tactile change from the field infill. Seams are sewn using the manufacturer’s recommended methods. The perimeter of the synthetic turf is attached to a concrete header and composite lumber nailer board. The synthetic turf profile includes a minimum of 6” open-graded base rock at the field perimeter and gradually gets thicker toward the field centerline/collector pipe.”

The warning track was made of 20′ wide FieldTurf in a rust color with a thin top dressing of cinders to provide a tactile distinction from the baseball field. The infield skinned areas are FieldTurf Mini Pitch, 2-½” pile height with 1-¾” on brown-colored sand/rubber infill.

Even the aesthetics of the synthetic turf were carefully planned, noted Olsen.

“The alternating striped pattern of dark green and light green colors was chosen for a few reasons: to mimic field mowing patterns commonly found at highly groomed grass fields of big league ballparks; to distinguish PK Park compared to other baseball synthetic turf fields; and to continue a brand identity associated with University of Oregon playing surfaces, most notably the alternating green patterns found at the Autzen Stadium football field.”

Multi-Field Facility Winner

The ability to multi-task isn’t just for the workforce any longer. These days, it applies to athletic facilities. Administrators and owners want venues that work as hard as they do, filling a variety of needs each day.

When Homestead High School, Cupertino, CA decided to rehab and improve their sports fields, their wish list was challenging, at best. Because the existing fields hosted an array of sports (football, soccer, field hockey, baseball and softball) throughout the school year, the surface had become worn and in some places, skinned, over time.

“The fields needed to be used year-round,” noted Derek McKee of Verde Design, Inc. in Santa Clara, CA. And other challenges existed, since “the existing site was not ADA-compliant, and the fields were elevated from the campus.”

The professional team met with administrators, athletes, faculty and more, and came up with a plan to overhaul the facilities. A synthetic turf surface was selected, and a series of fields was developed.

“Site improvements included the demolition of everything in the area,” said McKee. In its place came a new plan that included two adjacent multi-use areas. One area has softball use, and the other has baseball. Each field has a multi-use outfield for other sports. Both fields have a varsity field area and another area for practice. Between the fields is a solar voltaic array that provides a nice shaded area for viewing the games, and great seating for the soccer and field hockey games with five-row bleachers.”

Among the new amenities were new backstops, CMU dugouts, storage areas at the home dugouts, bullpens, perimeter fencing, scoreboards and site furnishings. Several ramps and stair connections were added to enhance accessibility.

The new fields, however, were not as easy to install as they were to describe.

“The largest obstacle was the grading system,” said Olsen. “Existing grades sloped substantially due to the fact that they were natural grass, and had no drainage systems. We developed several concepts to review options for grading and earthwork quantities. The final result for these fields was a surface slope of less than one percent for the synthetic fields which created cut on one side and fill on the campus side. In the end, we did have off-haul, but it was limited based on the studies and planning effort.”

Verde Design made an attempt to uphold eco-friendly standards throughout the process. The synthetic turf was DuraSpinePro from FieldTurf, with an infill that was 40% rubber produced from recycled tires frozen in a cryogenic process.  In addition, pathways were added around the field, and over 100 trees were planted. Landscaping included native grasses and wildflowers for low maintenance and water use. In addition, LED site lighting was used. 

In addition, Homestead took home the ASBA’s ‘Green Award,’ bestowed upon one project per year, for excellence in eco-friendly design and construction.

Other Projects named as Outstanding Multi-Field Facilities

Fenn School – Reynolds Athletic Fields

Concord, MA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Stantec Sport (Boston, MA)

Lexington Center Play Fields Phase I

Lexington, MA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Stantec Sport (Boston, MA)

Pomfret School

Pomfret, CT

New Construction: Huntress Associates, Inc. (Andover, MA)

Distinguished Single Field Facilities 2012

Stagg High School – Phase II

Stockton, CA

New Construction: Verde Design, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)


North Canton Hoover Football/Lacrosse Stadium

North Canton, OH

Upgrade of Existing Construction: Vasco Sports Contractors (Massillon, OH)


Fairview High School

Fairview, PA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Vasco Sports Contractors (Massillon, OH)


SCU Bellomy

Santa Clara, CA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Verde Design, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)


Lodi Grape Bowl

Lodi, CA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Beals Alliance (Folsom, CA)


Bodner Rugby Field at California State Maritime Academy

Vallejo, CA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Beals Alliance (Folsom, CA)


Goodreau Field at Villanova Stadium

Villanova, PA

Upgrade of Existing Facility: Stantec Sport (Boston, MA)


John Gutierrez Stadium, Bloomfield High School

Bloomfield, NM

Upgrade of Existing Facilities: General Acrylics, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ)