RECENT ARTICLES
  • Notre Dame Unveils New Under Armour Uniforms

    by Michael Gaio August 2014

    First Notre Dame installs synthetic turf at its football stadium and now this? Is nothing sacred?

  • Spurs Hire NBA's First Paid Woman Assistant Coach

    by Rexford Sheild August 2014

    Coming off a 2014 NBA Championship, the San Antonio Spurs added to the depth of their coaching staff with the hire of Becky Hammon as an assistant coach. But this isn't an everyday-type of hire. Hammon, the former WNBA star who is finishing up her 16th year in the league, will be the first woman paid to serve as an assistant coach in NBA history. 

  • Did Biogenesis Founder Bosch Reach Teens with Steroids?

    by Andrew Brandt August 2014

    Today marks the one year anniversary of Major League Baseball's largest suspension sentencing, where more than a dozen players' seasons were halted due to their doping ties with Biogenesis.

  • Soccer Draws Top Yankee Stadium Crowd in '14

    by Rexford Sheild August 2014

    The New York Yankees are synonymous with success at the MLB level, but it was a different scene at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, as the stadium hosted two of the top international soccer teams -- Manchester City and Liverpool -- in front of a packed house. 

  • TCF Bank Stadium Switches to Grass for Soccer Match

    by Rexford Sheild July 2014

    When the Minnesota Gophers' TCF Bank Stadium opened in 2009, it joined the growing list of collegiate and professional stadiums sporting synthetic turf. But this weekend, the stadium will be sporting a more natural look when it hosts a soccer matchup on Saturday featuring two of the most premier teams from Europe. Manchester City, champions of the English Premier League this past season, will face off against Olympiacos, winners of the Superleague Greece, as part of the the second annual Guinness International Champions Cup tournament.

    Workers are busy installing sod over the existing synthetic turf, creating a playing surface more akin to what the players are accustomed to. "Because you end up running 7, 8 miles in a soccer match running on [synthetic] turf is not good for your legs," tournament spokesman Harrison Raboy said. "They play on grass, and that's the most natural playing surface for soccer."

    University of Minnesota athletic department spokesman Dan Reisig noted the sod used is a bit thicker than what you normally might see in a backyard, and the process of installing the grass was, as Reisig called it, a "pretty significant effort." After the field is installed, it requires delicate care, including mowing the grass to the preferred length, putting patterns on it, and painting and watering it. 

    Despite the effort involved, the installation will not be a permanent fixture. The Premier League match will be followed by another featuring North America Soccer League members Minnesota United and Ottawa Fury, with tickets being valid for both contests. The stadium will return to its natural playing surface of synthetic turf on Monday, and some of the grass used for the match will be repurposed with the rest of it being recycled. 

    The tournament takes places in 13 cities and 12 stadiums in both the United States and Canada. TCF Bank will not be the only stadium hauling in natural grass and redoing its playing surface; Michigan Stadium is bringing in that same type of thickened sod to host Manchester United and Real Madrid. Steve Bush, owner of Bush Turf, said in an interview with Mlive.com's Michael Niziolek that the initial layer of sod is like "thick landscaping fabric" and once that is laid down, truckloads of sod are moved in. However, the difficulty with this is that Michigan Stadium only has one tunnel through which to shuttle the sod. 

    When you look at the grand scheme of turning the whole field around for an international soccer "friendly," there has to be some sort of validation for such a laboring process, and there certainly is in Michigan's case. When the game gets underway on Saturday afternoon, it is estimated to be one of the most-attended soccer matches ever, with the stadium holding over 109,000 spectators, which will greatly assist local businesses as well as Ann Arbor's economy. Not to mention, there could be some positive, residual effects for Detroit's economy, but there have been no projected gains yet.

    The third and final synthetic-turf stadium among the 12 tournament hosts is California Memorial Stadium, home to the Cal Bears, which also changed its playing surface to grass when Real Madrid played Inter Milan on July 26. 

     


    Rexford Sheild is an intern with Athletic Business. 

     

  • Atlantic 10 Unveils New Logo, Welcomes Davidson

    by Andrew Brandt July 2014

    Not to be outdone by the Big 12 Conference's rebranding, which AB reported on Monday, the Atlantic 10 Conference also unveiled an updated look.

  • Big 12 Conference Launches New Logo, Identity

    by Andrew Brandt July 2014

    The Big 12 Conference unveiled a number of new identity and branding standards Tuesday, including — most visibly — the official launch of its new logo.

  • USC to Offer Four-Year Scholarships in Revenue Sports

    by Michael Gaio June 2014

    The University of Southern California is joining a short list of Division I schools offering student-athletes an added sense of security with its scholarship offers.

  • Washington Redskins Lose Federal Trademarks

    by Michael Gaio June 2014

    In what's being called a "landmark decision," the United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is "disparaging to Native Americans." Due to its "disparaging" nature, the name cannot be trademarked under federal law which prohibits protection of offensive or disparaging language.

  • Video: Anti-'Redksins' Ad Airs During NBA Finals

    by Michael Gaio June 2014

    The debate over the Washington Redskins' nickname isn't going away, not even during the climax of the basketball season. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a tribe based in California, paid for an anti-"Redskins" commercial that aired to a national audience during Game 3 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night. See an extended version of the commercial below.