The process of replacing Memorial Stadium's turf is underway, an article posted on the Bloomington Herald-Times Hoosier Scoop Blog reports. At the same time, Indiana University's athletics Web site has issued an announcement that the school is "currently in negotiations to replace the existing turf with a state-of-the art playing surface that will be installed and ready for use by the first week of August."
"We have been in close contact with University officials to ensure that the 2008 World Championships go ahead as planned," said Dan Acheson, DCI executive director and CEO. "The rapid response and frequent communication with IU's athletic department has been outstanding and instrumental as we continue to plan for our World Championship events in August."
With recent heavy rainfalls in Indiana, Memorial Stadium's artificial turf developed a sinkhole in the south end zone two weeks ago. The sinkhole, which ran from the outside edge of the end zone to the end of the turf field, reportedly left ripples running through some thirty yards of playing surface, and made the turf "unplayable" according to some sources. Photos posted on the Hoosier Scoop Blog show that the sinkhole centers around a manhole cover underneath the south end zone, and that the rains had washed some of the field's gravel base out from under the turf surface.
Today's removal of some of the turf surface is the first step in the repair and reinstallation of a playing field at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosier Scoop Blog reports that a worker at the site told them the plan is to smooth the gravel base that's been damaged by water and then replace the older turf surface with a new one. Indiana University is expected to issue a formal announcement about the field in the next day or two.
Last week DCI's World Championships planning committee traveled to Bloomington to visit Memorial Stadium, where 95 yards of the field were still in use by a scholastic football camp as officials continued to examine the condition of the playing surface. Following that trip, DCI announced that planning for the 2008 World Championships will continue as scheduled, and that DCI, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Indiana University are all committed to not just see the Championships take place, but to make them nothing short of spectacular.
Read the article on blog.HoosiersHQ.com.
Read the announcement on IUHoosiers.com.
Planning for the '08 World Championship in Bloomington continues.
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