Peden Stadium is used for Ohio University Bobcat football games and track meets. The Peden Tower includes offices for Intercollegiate Athletics, a football locker room, weight room, planning and interview room, coaches' offices, and meeting rooms. The Tower also has a sports medicine and rehabilitation complex, wellness center, library, and conference room.
The stadium was named in honor of Don C. Peden, a coach and director of athletics. He was one of the founders of the Mid-American Conference and a national force in intercollegiate athletics, especially football and baseball.
The stadium, then known as the Ohio University's Athletic Plant, was built in 1929 with two side units that seated 12,000 people. In 1986, major renovations enlarged the permanent seating capacity to 19,000. In 1990, the five-story tower was constructed.
Source: Ohio University Sports Information Office
On September 20, 1999 Michael Massa,
OU Class '82 wrote: You may want to augment your profile by mentioning that President Eisenhower's White House Helicopter landed at the 50 yard-line, during a visit to the university in the 1950's.....AND
That President Johnson's Helicopter Also landed, on the 50-yard line at Peden, in 1965,
during a visit to Athens, and his first reference to 'a Great Society' and 'the War on Poverty"
was announced, after his motorcade went to the school's student center, later uptown.
Peden Stadium Awaits Turf
by Paul Shugar
Ohio has accepted Quest Turf's bid to lay a brand of artificial grass at Peden Stadium, said Julio Freire, Ohio assistant athletic director of facilities and operations.
Work already has begun to rip out last year's grass field and replace it with a brand of artificial grass called Field Turf. The surface is part of the stadium's second field improvement in the last two years. Ohio's contract with Quest Turf from Muncie, Ind., for the new Field Turf surface will cost $732,000, Freire said.
Athletic Field Surfaces, based in Oregon, Ohio, laid the last field that had drainage problems, which did not allow the sod to grow and caused the turf to come loose by the end of football season, Freire said.
The resurfacing project has a budget of $800,000 to rip out the old field and lay the new surface, said Dick Planisek, construction and engineering coordinator from OU's office of facilities planning.
"The contract includes everything from getting the lines and logo on the field," he said. "The university does not have to do any work and as soon as they are done we can go over and play on it."
Interest from a capital improvement bond will fund $600,000 of the project. The other $200,000 is expected to come from a settlement with Athletic Field Surfaces.
The settlement has not been worked out yet, said Nicolette Dioguardi, associate director of the office of legal affairs. The settlement became more complicated when consultants of Athletic Field Services were added to the settlement, furthering confusion on who is at fault for the field's drainage problems.
"It is not finalized yet, but once it is, it will generate more money to pay for the artificial turf," Dioguardi said. "It might be around $200,000 or less because we are working back and forth."
Quest Turf owner Mike Gruppe said this would be the second field installation for his company. Quest Turf installed a field in the Detroit Lions' practice facility and plans to install the field at the Lions' new stadium, Ford Field, this summer.
The installation of the new Ohio field surface should begin the first week of June and be complete by the last week of July, Gruppe said. Ohio's first home game against Northeastern is Sept. 7.
Field Turf, a brand of artificial grass, was OU's first choice, Freire said. Its use in 300 different venues helped sell the product. Northern Illinois is the only Mid-American Conference school to use Field Turf.
"We wanted this particular brand out of the variety out there because it is the nation's oldest rubber field surface and we wanted a proven product with longevity," he said. "I visited the oldest Field Turf field that is six years old and had over 2,000 events held on it and it was still in great condition."
One big difference between Field Turf and other brands is a rubber-sand base combination from which the long strands of fibers made up of polyethylene and polypropylene base sprout like natural grass. Freire said this surface is more firm and responsive, making it an easier surface for athletes to run on than the more rubberized surfaces like NeXturf.
"It is extremely low maintenance," Freire said. "There is no water, mowing, fertilizing or paint to put down.
"It also holds up very well. The University of Oregon had a NeXturf field and after one year they are tearing it out and putting in Field Turf because of footing problems. It holds up very well in the rain, and that is one reason it is a big advantage over other products."
The new surface should also be safer, Freire said.
"AstroTurf has a long history of possibly causing non-contact knee injuries," Freire said. "Field Turf, statistically has been proven to be much better. At Nebraska they have had this surface the last three years and had zero non-contact knee injuries."
The surface does not last forever. The field is expected to last eight to 12 years, depending on usage, according to the company's Web site (http://www.fieldturf.com).
Peden's surface comes with an eight-year warranty, Plenisek said.
Ohio coach Brian Knorr said his players are excited to play on what should be a safer surface. And it should help Ohio's reputation to say the team plays on the same surface as top-notch college football teams such as Nebraska and Washington.
"I think with our offense being so movement orientated - it will help us immensely to play on a consistent surface," he said. "It is just great for our style of play because it is so orientated on running and making sharp cuts."