THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
Indiana University's Memorial Stadium has served as a model for stadium construction since its opening game against Oregon State in 1960. And while the stadium is now over 30 years old, the truth is that it has never looked better.
The IU athletic program has continually improved the 52,354-seat facility so that its football team enjoys the best possible home field.
The past eight years have seen significant upgrades with the most recent improvements being a complete facelift to the stadium in 1993 and the addition of computerized scoreboards at each end of the stadium in 1989. During the 1988 campaign, Indiana played three nationally televised games in late afternoon thanks to a new lighting system. Before the 1985 season, workers replaced 48,000 wooden seats with aluminum boards. The Hoosiers enjoyed a new AstroTurf field during the 1986 season, an improvement which also increased the total workout area. A new sound system in '86 added to spectator convenience, and the team has used a 40-yard by 40-yard workout area for the last six seasons.
The stands are 109 rows high on the west side of the stadium with a modern, three-level press box on top, while the east stands are 72 rows high. The concave design angles all spectators toward the playing field's center, and the elimination of lower rows from the field's center provides an unobstructed view for all. Surrounding the stadium are 12,000 parking spaces, an asset few athletic plants can match.
Memorial Stadium has now hosted 193 games, which have drawn 7,714,823 fans, an
average of 39,973 per game.
Copyright by project one hundred nineteen
In 2005, head football coach Terry Hoeppner had a southern Indiana limestone boulder nicknamed "The Rock" installed in the north end zone as a new campus tradition. This limestone boulder was found prior to Hoeppner's first season at IU in the practice field. It was removed, put on a granite slab and moved to the stadium. The Hoosiers and coach Hoeppner walked out and touched the Rock before running onto the field at every home game during Hoeppner's time as head coach. Terry Hoeppner died of brain cancer on June 19, 2007 and The Rock now serves as motivation for the team as well as a tribute to Hoeppner's influence on the football program.
Since dubbing Memorial Stadium "The. House" in 1987, the Hoosiers have played to a 37-17-1 record at home. Winning in The House has become a team goal every season, a tradition to be nurtured and upheld.
"We take a lot of pride in playing in The House," says one Hoosier player. "It's all about protecting your turf You don't want someone coming into your own house and taking something that belongs to you. That's the way we feel about Memorial Stadium."
Leveling the Playing Field
Story by Beth Feickert
Reprinted from Hoosier Scene Magazine
When the Hoosiers take to the field in Memorial Stadium in the fall of 1998, the field won't be the same. Right after the final home game of the 1997 season, workers tore up the stadium's AstroTurf in preparation for its replacement with natural grass.
The recommendation to replace the AstroTurf with a natural grass field was made in November 1997, after over a year of study. A committee of University and athletic department staff was assigned the task of making the recommendation to athletic director Clarence Doninger. The Athletic Department began investigating the possible replacement of the turf in the summer of 1996, when the firm that originally installed the AstroTurf was asked to evaluate its condition. The firm recommended that the turf be replaced within one or two years. The turf was left in place for the 1997 season to allow new head football coach Cam Cameron to be involved in the decision-making process, and to give the committee more time to make their recommendation.
The committee invited several firms representing various types of fields including SportGrass and Prescription Athletic Turf (P.A.T.) to Bloomington to describe their products and give cost analyses. In addition, the committee visited newly installed fields at the stadiums of the Baltimore Ravens, the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University. The committee chose the natural grass field because it was the most cost-effective option and has been proven to withstand the wear and tear of collegiate football at several stadiums throughout the country. Also, the type of grass used in the field, Kentucky Bluegrass, will grow well in Bloomington's climate. The field will be over seeded with rye each year to help maintain the lush look of the field. After about ten years, the field will need to be re-sodded because the rye will have outgrown the bluegrass.
IU's new field is a sand-based field of Kentucky Bluegrass over a gravity-based drainage system. The sod sits on top of a 10-inch root zone consisting of 90 percent sand and 10 percent peat moss. Fans and players alike will notice the shallower crown (curvature) of the new field, as it will be only 8 inches as compared with the 24-inch crown on AstroTurf. Although the crown is less steep, the gravity-based drainage system below the field allows for drainage of 15 inches of water per hour. Drainage tiles installed in a herringbone pattern take water away from the center of the field and empty it into an 8-inch trench drain that surrounds the field. This system relies solely on gravity and does not include any pumps. The trench drain will also take run off from the stands above and any water that may gather when a tarp is placed on the field. A poured synthetic surface will be laid between the trench drain and the stands to allow for movement of carts and other equipment without damage to the sod.
Workers spent about a month preparing Memorial Stadium for its new surface. After the AstroTurf and pad were removed, workers began digging for the trench drain on December 2. When the trench drain was installed, 4 inches of asphalt, 6 inches of crushed limestone and 6-8 inches of clay were removed from the area surrounded by the trench drain. The field and drainage system consist of four layers: the subsurface, the pea stone layer, the root zone, and finally the sod on top. The bottom layer (subsurface) contains the drainage tiles that flow into the trench drain. Above the tile is a 4-inch pea stone (gravel) layer, and just under the sod is the 10-inch root zone.
Approximately 1,500 tons of pea stone and 4,000 tons of root zone (sand and peat moss) were used. The pea stone layer was in place by December 22, and after a break for the holidays, installation of the root zone began on January 5 and was completed by January 7. Workers waited for the weather to warm before laying down the sod April 2-4. After a summer of growth, the field is ready for use this fall. The yard lines and end zone will be painted during the first weeks of August.
Coach Cam Cameron is excited about the switch from AstroTurf to grass.
"If you look at the trend over the last ten years in the Big Ten Conference and most teams, when they’ve made a change, they’ve made a change to grass,” said Cameron. “We were going to have to make some type of change because of the age of the existing turf, whether it was to put another AstroTurf field back down or go to a grass or synthetic field. The committee came up with the decision that we would go to grass. I’m excited, and I know our players are excited about going to grass. It's going to be good for Memorial Stadium."
Source: Indiana University Sports Information Office
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
October 11th, 2008 - We have arrived in Indianapolis, and are looking out right onto Victory Circle and beyond from our 19th floor room at the Sheraton. It is 82 degrees here, and the streets are alive with traffic and activity. Good to be here!
Our day began down in Bloomington, about 50 miles to the south, where the Indiana Hoosiers were facing their Big Ten rival, the Iowa Hawkeyes. This is our 8th venue in this conference, and we've gotta say that Hoosier football is not exactly the electric storied experience that you'll find in places like Penn State or Ohio State.
The campus here is not replete with ivy covered, bucolic buildings. Many of the dorms look like something designed for a Warsaw Pact capital at the height of the Cold War. As for Memorial Stadium, dubbed ÒThe RockÓ, it is an ordinary stadium, currently undergoing a big reconstruction in one end zone, to accommodate club lounges, offices, training facilities and a signature marquee entrance.
With IU's football season down the crapper, it wasn't exactly a full house on hand here. The stadium was about half full, and the hometown fans were disappointed early as visiting Iowa dominated play from both sides of the line of scrimmage, and Indiana just could not make any plays work for them. They finally put together a nifty drive just as the half was winding down, but a missed extra point left them behinf 17-9 at the half.
In the second half it was ALL Iowa, the Hawkeyes banged out four touchdowns and won going awayÉ final score 45-9, and by the fourth quarter the entire student section and a good number of red clad fans had bailed.
We checked out Assembly Hall, one of college basketball's storied venues and located right next door to the stadium. The lobbies and corridors there are replete with photos, trophies and memorabilia and are worth checking out, plus there's a pretty big team store in the basement, and a bargain table to boot. Pete will have more on this in a separate post.
So here it isÉ Saturday night in the big city. We're heading out to a cool sports bar right near Conseco Fieldhouse to enjoy a nice dinner and watch the ALCS, and we're going to check out the nightlife scene as well. As I said, good to be here!
STADIUM PART OF INDIANA STATE'S MASTER PLAN
December 24, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Terre Haute, Ind. - A new master plan for Indiana State University includes a new football
stadium, but university officials caution that it likely won't be built for many years. The plan is intended to project land use for the next 15 to 20 years.
The plan calls for renovation of several academic facilities, upgrades to student housing and several new athletic facilities west of Third Street. It also calls for improvements in campus traffic patterns, particularly for first-time visitors.
The campus improvements will support redevelopment of the riverfront - called Riverscape - and support downtown revitalization.
Details of the stadium or an estimated cost of the projects was not part of the project.