Hogs going to synthetic playing surface

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –Arkansas will install a synthetic playing surface in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in time for the 2009 season, it was announced by Arkansas vice chancellor and director of athletics Jeff Long.

Private gifts to the Razorback Foundation specifically for the field will fund the entire estimated $1.1 million project. Arkansas based general contractor Kinco Constructors was selected in anticipation of securing the funds and will work in consultation with the University of Arkansas to select a turf manufacturer.

"With the transition to a new synthetic surface in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, we will be able to maximize the use of our football field for games, practices and workouts," Long said. "In addition, the new synthetic surface will provide us flexibility in the use of the stadium. It will potentially provide us the opportunity to host a variety of other events throughout the year.

"We are grateful to the Razorback supporters that stepped forward and made specific contributions for the conversion to a synthetic surface. We made it clear from the beginning of our exploration that this project would need to be funded entirely through private support. The timing of the project has also allowed us to take advantage of lower construction costs."

The project is scheduled to begin the week of April 20with the completion of the project slated prior to Aug. 1.

"I am excited about the conversion to a synthetic surface in our stadium," Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. "The new field will help our football program prepare more effectively and efficiently throughout the year. A majority of our games will be played on synthetic surfaces including our home games in Fayetteville and Little Rock as well as our game against Texas A&M in Arlington. I appreciate the support of the University and those passionate supporters who made this project a reality."

With the conversion to a synthetic surface, fans will have the opportunity to purchase a piece of Razorback history this weekend as the small sections of the natural grass surface of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will be made available for purchase. For $10, fans can own a nine-inch by nine-inch square of natural turf from the game field. Bulk or reserve orders are not available. Payment may be made by cash or check only. All sales are final.

Weather permitting, the sod will be packaged and sold beginning approximately 15 minutes following the completion of the Red-White Game on Saturday and again on Sunday from 2 – 4 p.m. Fans purchasing sod on Sunday should enter Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in the south end zone at Gate B.