Eastern Kentucky University athletics and campus recreation announced turf and lighting upgrades for three facilities that will take place this summer and fall.
Roy Kidd Stadium and Tom Samuels Track are getting new LED lighting this summer, while Roy Kidd Stadium and Earle Combs Stadium will receive new turf. The Hanger Field artificial surface at Roy Kidd Stadium, which was first installed in 2008, will be replaced.
At Earle Combs Stadium, the infield artificial surface, which was installed before the 2010 season, will be replaced. A new artificial surface with a drainage system will replace the natural grass in the outfield making the entire field an artificial surface for the first time. Both will include fresh designs.
The intramural field will also see improvements as the turf surface will be replaced.
“We are excited to perform these much-needed enhancements that will benefit our student-athletes, student body, and fans alike,” director of athletics Matt Roan said in a press release. “There are a number of reasons for these upgrades, most importantly ensuring the well-being of our students and student-athletes, as well as maximizing their performance. Our loyal fans will also enjoy aesthetically-pleasing fields, including our ASUN Conference logos, and light capabilities that will bolster our fan experience.”
Roan continued, “We are particularly pleased that these investments positively impact our entire campus community. We are so thankful to all those who supported these projects, and we look forward to continually working to improve all of our facilities with the support of our outstanding donors and sponsors.”
According to the press release, all three turf projects are being completed by Vescio’s Sports Fields. The press release states that each synthetic turf surface will include “a slit-film UV resistant polyethylene yarn structure with a sand/crumb rubber infill mixture to provide the best quality playing surface possible.”
The light project at Roy Kidd Stadium is already underway and will meet NCAA standards for postseason play for both horizontal and vertical foot candles. The project will also provide wireless controls for tablet and smartphone access, and touchscreen controls in the press box. White, maroon, and multi-colored dynamic scenes will also be installed.
According to EKU athletics, the Tom Samuels track light project will include a fixture-for-fixture LED replacement with typical on/off features. Both projects are being completed by Musco Sports Lighting.
Fans and student-athletes can expect the lighting projects to be primarily completed at Roy Kidd Stadium by July 15 and at Tom Samuels Track by August 15.
EKU football's first contest on the new turf will be Saturday, Sept. 18 when the Colonels host Indiana State at 7 p.m. The EKU baseball team will play its first game on their new turf on Feb. 22, 2022 when Kentucky State comes to town.