By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
It is a pantheon of concrete and steel, It is a city that rises defiantly in the delta alongside the father of waters, It is the humidity of autumn evenings that drapes stately oaks and broad magnolias, It is haunted ... and it is loud. It is Halloween night & Cannon blasts, It is a Louisiana gumbo of humanity that cheers its Tigers to victory & destroys the dreams of invading foes. Chance of rain is ... never! It is the cathedral of college football & worship happens here ... When the sun finds its home in the western sky it is a field of glory for sure ... But much more than that it is a sacred place, And it is Saturday night in Death Valley.... (By: Dan Borne')
Well, the next time our defending national champions kickoff on a Saturday night in Death Valley it will be on a new, upgraded surface.
This turf project began immediately after the final home game of the 2019 football season and is still in progress.
In recent years, LSU would replace the top level of Tiger Stadium's surface (the sod) after a football season and/or events that would occur, such as the Bayou Country Super Fest.
But not since 1991 has the field repair gone deeper into the ground below the top surface. Over time the field has become more compact, causing poor drainage on the playing field.
In order to repair this problem, contractors must dig 18 inches into the ground below the top level playing surface so they can remove and replace the old soil barrier and old drainage pipes.
The new profile barrier consist of gravel, fabric, lime stone, and sand. Once in place the lower profile will act like a bladder. If there is a heavy rain on a game day before kickoff, the lower barrier will control and hold the water underground until it can be drained.
LSU has been planning this project for five years now and will cost a total of $2.6 million. The funding for the much needed project has been provided by the State Capitol Outlay Section Division.
So far the construction process has gone very smoothly. The contractors have not run into any problems and the project has been blessed with good weather.
The new grass playing surface, provided by Shaw Sports Turf, will be an engineered centipede that will be a softer and safer playing surface for the student athletes. The sod will be installed in early May and will be allowed to grow and treated until August. By then the field will be ready for the 2020 football season.