BLAINE, Minn. – (Oct. 12, 2017) – The National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine has initiated a major field development project inside the NSC Stadium.
Construction work has begun to replace the historic grass field with two full-sized artificial turf fields. The backside bleachers and the remnants of the old running track will be removed, providing enough space for an additional full-size field within the existing stadium footprint.
The existing stadium grandstand will remain, providing approximately 5,500 seats for stadium events.
With Minnesota United FC now playing home games at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota before moving into their new stadium in Saint Paul in 2019, the NSC Stadium has only two events annually that draw more spectators than the existing grandstand provides – the Opening Ceremony of Schwan’s USA CUP and the KTIS Joyful Noise music festival. Temporary seating can be moved in to accommodate both those events.
The $1.35 million stadium turf project is being funded by the National Sports Center.
The NSC is already the largest multi-sport campus in the world, with 52 existing fields. All the NSC’s existing fields are natural grass. The new artificial turf fields will provide new additional capacity, especially at times currently not available – during bad weather, early spring and late fall seasons, and after dark.
The existing grass field in the Stadium dates back to the opening of the campus in 1990. The field was modified in 2008 when the running track was removed and the field moved closer to the grandstand to improve spectator viewing for field sport events.
“The good news for the public is that the NSC is making an investment in new lighted artificial turf fields that can be used at times we currently can’t program our existing grass fields – in marginal weather conditions, after dark, and early and late season times,” said NSC Executive Director Todd Johnson. “These fields will also be completely flexible. We will be able to paint lines to make short-sided or full-size soccer fields and also program any field sport, like rugby, ultimate and lacrosse.”
The new turf will be Field Turf Revolution 360, which is a top-of-the-line turf. It’s called a “FIFA Quality” turf, and is used by top clubs like FC Barcelona, Ajax, Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint Germain. In the U.S., Revolution 360 has been installed in CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Sounders and Seahawks, and at numerous colleges and universities across the country, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Washington, Oregon State, Texas Tech and Syracuse. It’s noted for its high-quality playability, safety, natural aesthetics, reduced infill splash, and durability.
The new stadium turf has been ordered. Installation will begin in the middle of October, and the turf should be ready for play in mid-November. With cooperating weather, a few weeks of play might be possible this fall.