Field Days

July 25, 2006

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The completion of a $70-million renovation of Ross-Ade Stadium in 2003 did not signal the end of facility upgrades for the Purdue football program.

This spring, Purdue installed new playing surfaces on Ross-Ade, inside the Mollenkopf Athletic Center and on its primary practice field.

Both Ross-Ade and the practice field, adjacent to the Mollenkopf Center, have been sodded with a cold-tolerant strain of Bermuda grass, giving Purdue the distinction of being the only school in the Big Ten Conference with such a surface.

"This puts Purdue on the cutting edge as we very well may be the pioneers with a Bermuda field that many other schools in our region will want to copy," head coach Joe Tiller said. "Another huge step for our program is that we will have a rebuilt practice field that matches our game field. This will allow us the opportunity to prepare as a team under the most ideal conditions."

In the Mollenkopf Athletic Center, the 16-year-old AstroTurf was replaced with state-of-the-art FieldTurf, while the walls of the indoor practice facility were repainted and later this week will be adorned with banners that pay tribute to Purdue's rich football heritage.

Today, Action Sports Media, Inc., a leader in the collegiate sports marketing industry, is announcing a 10-year marketing partnership extension with Purdue that will help finance a new state-of-the-art end zone video board and sideline advertising panel for Ross-Ade, which will be installed for the start of the 2007 season. The technology additions, provided by Daktronics, the world's largest supplier of electronic scoreboards, include computer-programmable displays, large-screen video displays and control systems.

The specific inventory to be purchased, at a cost of $1.3 million, includes two ProStar Video Displays, measuring 26-feet high by 38-feet wide and 6 ½-feet high by 71-feet wide, and two sets of LED Delay of Game Clocks. The new video boards will enhance the overall atmosphere at Ross-Ade and provide fans with video replays, real-time scoring updates and interactive elements, as well as grant ample space for advertising and promotional opportunities.

"Some of the most dramatic moments in college football have unfolded at Ross-Ade Stadium, and we are ensuring its status as a top collegiate athletics venue," Purdue athletics director Morgan J. Burke said. "Purdue and Action Sports Media have enjoyed a very productive partnership since 1997, and extending this arrangement for another 10 years is great news for our university's loyal fans, supporters and alumni who expect excellence, on and off the field, from Purdue University and its student-athletes."

Tiller is grateful for the improvements.

"In this day and age of collegiate athletics, you can't stand pat," said the grid boss, who is entering his 10th season as head coach. "As a football program, we appreciate the commitment made by the Purdue administration to continually upgrade our facilities for the benefit of our players and our fans."




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