Rest in peace, natural grass, you left us too soon.
This is Dakota with Tuesday’s sports notebook.
UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham announced earlier this year that Kenan Stadium will be switching to artificial turf instead of natural grass.
The total cost of the project to switch to artificial turf will cost $2.5 million and will be funded by the Rams Club.
This isn’t the first time that new head coach Mack Brown has made the switch to artificial turf. In 2009, Brown had the Texas switch to artificial turf at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The discussion surrounding the field at Kenan Stadium has been an ongoing issue. In 2016, UNC decided to keep real grass instead of moving to artificial turf and said they’d replace the sod as needed. This came after concerns about the field condition with the football team using it for both practice and games.
Former head coach Larry Fedora was a supporter of natural grass, but with Brown at the helm it appears that changes to Kenan Stadium will come fast.
At Saturday’s spring game, the natural grass field was in prime condition for its last outing. Despite rainstorms throughout the weekend, grounds crews worked to get the field looking spotless for the scrimmage.
In the end, it’s clear to see that Brown’s vision for the future of UNC football is starting to come in to focus. Along with the installation of artificial turf and the new indoor practice facility, millions of dollars are being poured in to weight room and locker room updates.
While Carolina might still be a step down from the Clemson’s and Alabama’s of the college football world, it’s great to see the program moving towards the future.
Even if that means saying goodbye to natural grass.