Dacotah Field recently received a makeover with the installation of a new FieldTurf surface last month. It’ll always have its football history, but it’s beginning to look more like home for the soccer team.
“I think if there’s anything you can say about our current administration, it’s that they want to make sure every program is taken care of,” said Bison women’s soccer coach Mark Cook. “It shows Dacotah Field is our home field, and it’s BIson soccer stadium, as opposed to the old football stadium.”
The football team will still practice at Dacotah Field, as will plenty of other teams during the winter months when the inflatable bubble-dome is put over it, but he field was constructed mainly for soccer, seen in small details like numbers not being painted on the field.
“Football clearly still uses it, it’s our only lit field,” said NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen. “We want to make sure all our programs have great practice fields and facilities. Football still has landmarks, but it looks like a soccer field.”
The project took less than a month, wrapping up Monday, July 24, with the installation of the turf costing $350,000. A Bison logo was also put in the center of the field.
“It was a very plain field,” Larsen said. “There was no real colors, no markings, no logos, so it was important, with video streaming and televising the field, when people watch it, they know where they are.”
Cook stepped on the new turf for the first time on Tuesday, July 25. The softness was built for better soccer.
“It was a night-and-day difference,” Cook said. “It was much more forgiving, so the ball will bounce a lot. Your margin for error was much smaller (on the old turf). If you made a pass a yard away from a player then they couldn’t get to it because the turf was extremely hard and extremely fast. It’ll make for better soccer.”
Astroturf was first installed at Dacotah Field in 1975. The previous surface was installed in 2009 and the new surface is expected to have a lifespan of eight…