Michigan State adding synthetic turf, permanent film tower to practice fields

Michigan State adding synthetic turf, permanent film tower to practice fields

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast week, Michigan State made headlines with plans for a $20+ million renovation to Spartan Stadium, but that’s not the football program’s only improvements in the works.

msu-practiceThis summer, synthetic turf will be installed on one of MSU’s two full-size practice fields, and a permanent film tower is being added.

Both additions are expected to be completed before the start of fall camp in August. Installation of the synthetic turf will begin after summer football camps in late June. The permanent tower will be installed in July.

The synthetic is expected to cost $560,000, while the tower will run $320,000. Funds for both projects were raised by donors.

Currently, the natural grass forces the Spartans to work in their indoor practice facility even when the ground is wet. Deputy athletic director Greg Ianni says having an outdoor synthetic turf practice field will offer much greater flexibility.

“This way, we can get outside and practice in inclement weather,” Ianni told the Detroit Free Press. “This is especially important for the kicking game.”

MSU has used a lift to film practices in the past, but school safety protocols dictate that it must come down from the desired 50 feet to about 20 feet when winds reach 25 m.p.h.. The permanent tower will allow safe filming from about 50 feet high even in heavy winds.

The stadium upgrades are highlighted by a two-level building that will be located at the north end of the stadium. The first level will house locker rooms for both teams and coaches, a locker room for officials, an equipment room and a media center.

The upper level of the building will be split, with new restrooms and concessions stands connected to the stadium’s concourse, and a recruiting room to be used for all sports.

Construction of the stadium renovation will begin after MSU’s Board of Trustees approves it, which is expected to happen at a June 19-21 meeting.

The project is expected to be completed in May 2014 and be ready for the 2014 season.

Photo credit: Al Goldis / AP

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