Flipping Nippert Stadium at Cincinnati from futbol to football
When Futbol Club Cincinnati moved into the home of the Bearcats, Nippert Stadium, a couple provisions needed to take place to turn it from a football field to a soccer field.
One of the changes FC Cincinnati made was the turf.
The soccer club installed new turf with soccer lines made of washable paint, in place of what was already in the stadium.
Before this replacement, Nippert’s turf had never been switched as it was a permanent football field, but now the entire field will not have to be switched again as FC Cincinnati’s turf will also be used for Bearcat and high school football games.
However, this does not mean sections of the field’s turf will not ever be replaced again.
Andre Seoldo, University of Cincinnati’s associate athletics director for facilities and operations, said UBU Sports ― a company that specializes in sports surfacing ― provides a crew of eight people to come and switch turf inserts from soccer-mode to football-mode. The inserts are located in the end zones and centerfield.
In addition, Seoldo said they partner with Pioneer Athletics to remove the lines from one sport and paint lines for the other.
In order to be sure the surface is playable for game day, the whole process can take some time.
“We’ve only done the initial one so far, which is when we had to put in regular turf. It takes some extra time the first time because you have to add the rubber and the sand,” Seoldo said. “So this is the first time we are doing it with the turf complete basically, we’re going through the process now, we predict it’s going to take somewhere between 24 and 36 hours to complete the job, and that’s with good weather and no snafus.”
What could be seen as the most important steps in the transition of the field is not until after the new turf inserts are laid.
According to Synthetic Turf Council’s official site, turf is manufactured in panels or rolls and each piece should be attached to the next with a seam to form the fabric of the field.
Once the turf is transitioned over, all the seams have to be checked to make sure the surface is safe, said Seoldo.
In addition to the seams, the lining of the field is also important.
“The lining of the field is obviously critical,” Seoldo said. “When we installed the turf we actually had them put, what is called, tick marks in, that designates where certain lines are, just points for the painters to go off of so they’re not constantly having to measure.”
One noticeable difference that will be seen on the turf during football games this year is the new designs of the end zones.
“Our design team within our athletic department had several ideas for a new end zone graphic,” Seoldo said. “They worked to come up with a final product and UBU manufactured it.”