Football fans will notice a different playing surface when they attend UNI or high school games at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls this fall.

Crews are planning to spend the next two months installing new artificial turf. The project is scheduled to start on May 11, 2017 and be complete by mid-July.

The turf will feature the UNI logo inside a shaded outline of the state of Iowa at midfield, along with a Panther head logo and the phrase “Panthers” in purple-colored endzones. The area outside the field and the coaching boxes will also be purple.

"The surface you play on is one of the most important elements in college football," UNI Head Football Coach Mark Farley said in a news release. "The investment in the new turf is an indication to the commitment of UNI to its student-athletes."

Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media
Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media

Total cost of the new turf will be approximately $900,000. The project is being paid for through a restricted use internal account that is available to address facility needs. The bid was awarded to AstroTurf for the project on Feb. 20.

The surface measures over 77,000 square feet and will come in 26 rollable panels that will be secured by a Velcro® system. There will be no infill required for the new surface. The conversion time for the new turf will be eight hours to install and four hours to roll up.

"We are pleased with the product that AstroTurf will supply for our use in the UNI-Dome," UNI Director of Athletics David Harris said. "First and foremost, it will be a safe and playable surface for our football program and for Iowa High School state playoff games. The well-being of student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decisions at UNI."

The current field turf inside the Dome was installed in 2009. Once removed, some of the surface will be re-purposed within the UNI Athletic Department.

UNI Athletics will provide a webcam on that will show the new turf being installed from the beginning to end.

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