The University of Cincinnati (UC) department of athletics is replacing the artificial surface inside Nippert Stadium to accommodate for the inaugural season of FC Cincinnati, the city’s newest professional soccer franchise, a recent UC press release reported.
FCC, a United Soccer League (USL) franchise, will serve as a secondary tenant in Nippert with the team’s season running from April through October. The soccer organization is financing the turf project.
The state-of-the-art artificial turf is UBU Sports’ Speed M6-M product. The surface is scientifically engineered with a 61-ounce monofilament fiber and mixed rubber/sand infill, which ensures a fast, firm and safe playing surface. The surface will be entirely green with no permanent markings to enable maximum versatility and tailor the surface for UC, FCC and other potential tenants.
“The new turf from UBU will preserve the energetic UC football markings, while allowing for an authentic soccer field as required for our game,” said Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati’s president and general manager. “We believe this is a win-win partnership – college students will enjoy another sporting season between March Madness and football, thousands of youth soccer players will come to games with their parents and our players and fans will have the benefit of the best facilities in the United Soccer League.”
Additionally, UC has contracted Pioneer Paints to coordinate the painting of both football and soccer fields. The painting will be applied in a way that no soccer lines will be visible on the turf during UC football games, even when the seasons overlap.
For UC football games, seven of which will take place on the Nippert turf this fall, convertible end zones and center logo pieces will be inserted for game days. This system is similar to the one in place at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.
Nippert Stadium has featured a UBU Speed Series artificial surface since 2013. UBU’s portfolio includes Paul Brown Stadium, the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans and MetLife Stadium among others.
The existing turf will be sold to Reeds Spring High School in Reeds Spring, Mo., but UC will retain both the custom end zone and midfield pieces for future use. No structural changes to the stadium’s seating bowl or brick field perimeter are planned for the 2016 season.