Starting in spring 2020, Griffiths Stadium in Nutrien Park, will undergo a major facelift, said Wade Epp, associate vice-president services.
“The artificial turf is over 13 years old and is past its useful life,” said Epp, whose team oversees facilities and maintenance at the university. “It is the most heavily-used outdoor athletics facility on campus and it was certainly time for an upgrade.”
The project—expected to cost about $3 million and finished in time for the fall 2020 season—will see the turf upgraded to improve shock absorption to lessen the chance of injury, add an anti-microbial treatment to safeguard against infectious bacterial, mold, mildew and germs, field expansion to be regulation size, and updated lighting that reduce power consumption.
“It’s a big project and we hope to get started in April, but it being Saskatchewan, it really depends on the weather and the ground thawing,” said Epp. “Regardless, we know the project will be completed in time for the kick off of the upcoming Huskie and campus rec season in September.”
Once complete, Griffiths Stadium will be well-positioned host events such as U-Sports championships, said Dave Hardy, chief athletics officer.
“The project includes the expansion of the field to accommodate regulation sized football and soccer,” said Hardy, noting that there is potential to host other sport events because of that.
“One of my top priorities is to make Huskie Athletics the top program in Canada, and revitalizing the stadium is a huge step in that direction,” said Hardy. “Beyond that, this will help improve the student-athlete experience at USask.”
Hardy said that while Griffith Stadium is central to student experience at USask, it is also central to the broader community, with the field used in a variety of summer youth sports and activity camps.
“Our connection to the community is always a priority for the university and having access to a state-of-the-art field will be another benefit for the community,” said Hardy.