By Eric Burdick and Robyn Kontra Tanner. Photos by Joe Johnson.
Alex G. Spanos Stadium recently got a makeover, swapping its grass field for more than 80,000 square feet of turf. The $3.2 million project took roughly six months, finishing just in time for spring commencement and well ahead of football training camp in August.
In addition to installing the FieldTurf material, crews releveled the stadium floor, installed new field goals and posts, added logos and fresh striping for both football and soccer, and constructed more accessible concrete walkways and curbs in anticipation of this season’s sold-out crowds.
The new turf doesn’t just look good — it’s also a lot more sustainable. Cal Poly will save about 2.8 million gallons of water annually and forego countless hours of landscape maintenance over the turf’s expected 15-year life.
The stadium will continue to host sold-out crowds of sports fans — including five home football games and the Blue-Green Rivalry soccer match versus UC Santa Barbara, which often set national attendance records — as well as commencement, rodeo events and concerts.
Cal Poly was the last football facility in the Big Sky Conference to transition from natural grass to turf. According to the program’s head coach, Beau Baldwin, the facelift is important to the team’s growth.
“This project provides us with another surface that we can use throughout the week, practice-wise, but also fitting what we’re going to do schematically, for recruiting … really, the big picture of things that will come down the road with facilities and other things we see coming,” said Baldwin in an article on GoPoly.com.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the way it all worked out.”