PGE Park to install new playing surface for 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland and Merritt Paulson, owner and president of the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers, today announced that a state-of-the-art FieldTurf playing surface will be installed at PGE Park for the 2008 season.

Officials have chosen FieldTurf, recognized as the world leader in artificial turf, for PGE Park, a 19,566-seat stadium located in the heart of downtown Portland. Initial stages of the project began today, and the new FieldTurf at PGE Park is expected to be in place and ready for use when the 2008 season of events begins Feb. 29 as Oregon State plays host to Georgia in the Papé Grand Slam, a three-game baseball series featuring the national-champion Beavers from OSU.

The overall project will include the removal of the existing surface; the installation of FieldTurf’s state-of-the-art, two-and-a-half-inch monofilament playing field atop a porous asphalt base; and the implementation of FieldTurf’s patented infill mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber. Workers will also repair, resurface and coat the existing warning track at PGE Park.

FieldTurf replaces the existing NeXturf surface, which was in use for seven seasons after being installed in 2001. The existing playing surface will be reused, as the city of Portland and PGE Park have donated portions of the old turf to area sports programs.

“The current playing surface served the stadium very well for seven years of heavy use, but after careful consultation with industry experts, city officials, and our coaches and players, it was universally agreed that it was in our best interest to install new, state-of-the-art turf,” said Paulson. “First and foremost, the wear and tear of the current surface is at a point where player safety is at risk of being compromised. Additionally, the FieldTurf surface will give us a great deal more versatility in the type of events we can attract to Portland, specifically serving as a significant factor in securing larger-scale national and international sporting events.”

PGE Park is home to the Triple-A Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, the United Soccer Leagues First Division Timbers and the Portland State University football program. The multipurpose stadium, originally constructed in 1926, additionally plays host to a wide variety of events and activities, including high school football and baseball games, youth sports camps, concerts, national and international soccer exhibitions, youth soccer games and practices, community gatherings and company outings.

FieldTurf is currently used at three Major League Baseball parks (Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Toronto), seven professional soccer venues – New England Revolution (MLS), New York Red Bulls (MLS), Real Salt Lake (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS), Atlanta Silverbacks (USL), Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL) and Seattle Sounders (USL), and has been selected by 21 of the 32 teams in the National Football League, including the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. In addition, FieldTurf is featured at college sports stadiums and fields at several area schools, including Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, University of Portland and Gonzaga.  

The result of years of research, FieldTurf features a patented FieldTurf infill mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber and a patented layering process that delivers a system which emulates natural grass. Additional benefits are found in improved player safety, reduced maintenance costs and flexibility for conversion - allowing stadium managers to quickly change the field from one sport to another or to easily host a variety of sporting events, concerts and other special events directly on top of the FieldTurf surface. For more information, visit www.fieldturf.com.