CSU to install artificial turf at Buccaneer Field

A rendering of what Charleston Southern’s football field will look like after the artificial turf is installed. Art provided

Charleston Southern’s football stadium will have a different look when the Buccaneers open the 2015 season.

The school announced Monday that it will replace the natural grass on Buccaneer Field with artificial turf. The installation of the new surface is set to begin next month.

The new playing surface is part of a two-fold project that includes the addition of “Buccaneer Plaza” in the area outside of CSU’s main entrance. That project includes new entryways, wrought-iron fencing, ticket booths and extensive landscaping.

“With the addition of the stadium entrance and the new playing surface, our university is making a commitment to athletic success,” CSU head football coach Jamey Chadwell said. “These additions add to the momentum created over the last two years by our team’s success. They will enhance the gameday experience for our fans and allow our team to compete on a state-of-the-art playing surface. We can show future Buccaneers we are committed to being a consistent top-20 program, and our facility upgrades point to that.”

The turf will be installed by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT) based in Harmony, Pa. It is the same company that recently installed its Gridiron brand turf at practice facilities for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears, as well as the indoor football center at Alabama. It also installed the new football fields at Gardner-Webb and North Greenville last year.

The design at Buccaneer Field will feature CSU’s athletic logo at midfield and a navy background in the end zones with “BUCS” in large, gold lettering.

“We chose APT/GSM for our field turf because of their state-of-the-art technology and extensive experience,” Chadwell said. “Their product will allow us to have a playing surface that is of top-notch quality and with exceptional performance. I have no doubt in my mind that we will have the best playing surface in the country going forward.”

CSU added stadium lights last season. Athletic director Hank Small said the stadium improvements continue to show the school’s commitment to football.

“Artificial turf is a key component to all of the improvements we are doing in our stadium,” Small said Monday. “The turf will give our football team a more consistent playing surface and also bring a great look to the facility. The field, added to the new grand entry way and track, will allow spectators, student-athletes and recruits see that CSU is committed to an outstanding stadium experience.”

CSU is 18-7 in two years under Chadwell and has played in front of record home crowds the last two years. The Bucs play five home games in 2015 and look to build on back-to-back record-setting seasons.

CSU will host North Greenville in the season opener Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. The Bucs will also entertain East Tennessee State (Sept. 17), Monmouth (Oct. 10), Coastal Carolina (Oct. 31) and Liberty (Nov. 14).