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Mount Allison University installs $1.5M artificial turf field

A new $1.5-million artificial turf field at Mount Allison University will allow varsity and community sports teams to increase the amount of time they can be on the field.

Pierre Arsenault, the director of athletics and recreation at Mount Allison, said the new field is an exciting development for the Mounties teams.

The athletics director said the old grass field could be damaged during the fall because of rain and snow. "With an artificial field, it's going to withstand the weather," he said.

Consistency goes a long way, considering last fall the university's football team had their best season ever, playing in the national university football semifinals.

Arsenault said the new turf will improve the dependability and a playability of the field.

Without having to take precautions to protect the grass, Arsenault said the new field will see a lot more use.

"You had a grass field that we would use about a 150 hours a year, and now with the artificial turf it will be up over a thousand," he said.

The new turf comes with special training for the maintenance staff.

"There's a grooming, almost a kind of sweeping process that will happen to kind of protect the field and take care of it," he said.

"They're fairly durable."

Though Arsenault added that players and fans alike will have to take care, gum, tobacco, even sunflower seeds can ruin the turf.

"I think the biggest difference is that it's not an organic living organism that will accept things into the ground," he said.

While $1.5 million is a hefty price tag, Arsenault said all the money raised so far has been from donors, fundraisers, alumni and community support.

He said he hopes by the time field opens at the annual homecoming game on Sept. 26, they can announce it has been fully paid for.

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