MIAMI — The FieldTurf at Red Robertson Field will get even more use during the 2017-18 school year than its had over the previous four years.
And it’s holding up well.
“We are very happy with it,” said Miami Community Facilities Authority (MCFA) trustee Dale Patterson. “We’ve had a group come in twice a year to clean the turf and recondition it. I think that has helped, then in November, they came in to refurbish it and added Cool Play, which drops the temperature on the turf about 15 percent.”
As a result, Patterson said the 10-year life expectancy of the turf would be extended by another couple of years.
“They say using the turf isn’t what wears it out; it’s the weather and the sun that wears it out,” Patterson said. “We (members of the MTCA) realize the turf will have to be replaced at some time in the future and we’re trying to make contingency (plans) for that.”
Revenues from advertising on the video board and the suites are used to help keep the stadium top notch.
“The video board will paid off pretty soon,” Patterson said. “That will be more revenue that will be used on the facility.”
The Red Robertson Field and Event Center, which is the facility’s official name, was built as part of a $9 million project that was a joint effort of NEO, Miami Public Schools and the City of Miami.
Turf and new lighting first was used during the 2013-14 school year with the remainder of the facility coming on line in October 2014.
“I would hate to think where we would be with our program here (at NEO) and the high school program if we were still on grass and still in that old stadium,” Patterson said. “It would not be good.”
Patterson said the Robertson Field turf here has not experienced the same problems that cropped up last month at the University of Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.
There was a reaction between the rubber infill and the cleaning chemical that was used on the turf at TU during regular maintenance.
It got to the point where officials at FieldTurf opted to replace the entire playing surface.
“It wasn’t any fault of the turf; it was some kind of reaction with the turf and glue,” Patterson said. “We didn’t have any problems like that.”
The Chapman Stadium turf is being replaced — and is being upgraded to the newest product — at no cost to TU as part of the warranty.
“We’re real happy with it and we’re real happy with the warranty,” Patterson said. “There are a couple things they have come in and fixed. We haven’t had any problem at all.”
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Miami High School, Will Rogers Middle School and Miami Youth Football League games, NEO and MHS soccer matches, the Oklahoma Eight Man Football Coaches Association all-star game and the NJCAA Region 2 soccer tournament already are played here.
Two new events also are being added:
* Quincy (Illinois) University and Texas-Permian Basin will square off in a 1 p.m. NCAA Division 2 non-conference battle here on Oct. 21. Miami is the midway point for both schools.
* The inaugural Miami Midwest Classic bowl game will be played here Sunday, Dec. 2.
“It’s being used — all you’ve got to do is look at the calendar,” Patterson said. “From the first of August until December, it is jam packed any more, even in the spring any more. Miami soccer, spring football and other activities, the high school has used it a lot this year with the Summer Pride program. It is being used more and more every year.”
Patterson said its hopeful that some of the area high schools would be open to playing non-district games at the stadium.
Previously, the Welch vs. Bluejacket and Commerce vs. Afton games were played here.
“We always look for that,” he said. “Hopefully we can work something out. It’s just finding the right time to do it. With everybody playing on it, junior high games, the (Miami) jayvee games and the college soccer, its just hard to find a time where they can work it in when they want to.”