Thursday afternoon, Texas Tech Athletics officially started the process of replacing the artificial playing surface at Jones AT&T Stadium.

The FieldTurf that had been in use for the past 11 seasons at Jones AT&T Stadium was a part of many memorable moments for Texas Tech fans, including the 2008 upset of the #1 Texas Longhorns.

“We’re looking forward to bringing a new turf to Jones AT&T Stadium,” Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. “We remain committed to providing the best facilities in the country for our student-athletes. This project is a significant investment in our student-athletes’ safety and performance.”

According to Texas Tech, the new FieldTurf surface will be similar to the version it is replacing. Both endzones will remain painted black with “Texas Tech” printed in red across the north endzone and “Red Raiders” in the south endzone. The Double T at midfield will be larger, covering the entire distance between the hash marks.

Jones AT&T Stadium has had a long history of using artificial playing surfaces. According to Texas Tech, AstroTurf was first installed in 1970; four years after it made its debut at the Houston Astrodome. Different versions of AstroTurf continued to be used through the 2005 season, before Texas Tech made the switch to FieldTurf in 2006.

"The field's old asphalt base has been removed, to be replaced with a moisture barrier and six inches of small, gravel-like stones that, at the moment, sit in heaps on the stadium's floor. Next comes a quarter-inch layer of sand and, on top of that, FieldTurf's patented infill blend of cryogenic rubber and sand that forms the foundation for the grass-like fibers. On its Web site, FieldTurf touts the rubber-sand blend for "superior safety, grass-like stability and better long-term resilience.'
"I think our players are really excited about it,' Texas Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers said. "They never complained about that AstroTurf, but I think they're glad to get off of it."

Texas Tech Football will begin spring practices in March, and Texas Tech Athletics will announce a full schedule of events within the next month.

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