It was Christmas in July for Broomfield and athletic director Steve Shelton.
Each year the Boulder Valley School District makes improvements here and there at their facilities and for the Eagles this year it was a new turf surface at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
“When that turf was installed they were hoping for a 10-year life span and we were in year 11. We were supposed to get it last year and when the Monarch field blew up, they pushed us back a year,” said Shelton, who hopes that an upcoming bond initiative will help make improvements to the track next summer. “We got 11 years out of it and I think that technology and that generation of turf, it was probably a year too long. It was pretty beat down and was ready to be done.”
The district became very familiar with the vendors, and Shelton and his staff did their homework in preparation of the project.
“The district put a new one in at Monarch and a new one at Boulder and they used two different vendors for those two projects and I think they really felt like the research, the installation and the technology they went with the vendor they felt was the best based on that criteria,” he said. “I think both us and Fairview (which also received a new field) got the Mercedes version and the one they had a better experience with.”
The cost of adding any sort of Eagles logo to the center of the field usually adds another $10,000 to the bill — and that was out of the question, since none of the other fields received them — Shelton said there were a few special touches.
The coaches boxes on each side of the field are highlighted in Broomfield blue and “it really makes it pop, and we are happy with that,” he said.
The most important part of the new turf is in the safety — adhering to the standard set forth in the VMAX rating, which tests the softness of the turf, and the amount of give and the bounce in the turf. The company that Shelton used will come out yearly to test the turf and again whenever Shelton believes there may be issues.
“From a safety aspect, and not just in terms of concussions, but also ACL injuries, the technology is a lot better,” Shelton said. “It is night and day better in terms of what we played on last year without question.”
The Eagles marching band, the soccer team and the football team have all had a chance to practice on the turf, but it will be officially christened on Friday night, August 29, in Week 1 of the football season against Legacy.
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