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Dacotah Field beginning to look more like home for the NDSU soccer team

FARGO-For many, Dacotah Field is known as the former home of North Dakota State football. For the Bison women's soccer team, it's their current home, and has been since 2013. It's beginning to look as such.Dacotah Field got a makeover, as a new F...

New turf that has been installed at North Dakota State’s Dacotah Field.David Samson / The Forum
New turf that has been installed at North Dakota State’s Dacotah Field.David Samson / The Forum

FARGO-For many, Dacotah Field is known as the former home of North Dakota State football. For the Bison women's soccer team, it's their current home, and has been since 2013. It's beginning to look as such.

Dacotah Field got a makeover, as a new FieldTurf surface was installed 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," Bison women's soccer coach Mark Cook said. "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," NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said. "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."

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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 8 to 10 years.

"Our lease is for five years, so the lifespan should extend beyond the lease," Larsen said. "If we maintain it the right way and monitor our traffic we should get 8 to 10 years. We wanted to make sure the manufacturer knew about the bubble and the type of activity on it from football to soccer to golf to softball. They had a really clear understanding. We think we have a product to service our needs."

Players will get to judge that soon. The soccer team will step on it for the first time at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

"When we step on the field next Wednesday the energy is going to be there," Cook said. "It's a brand new surface. Hopefully, it's going to carry over into the regular season and help us win a lot of home games."

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New turf that has been installed at North Dakota State’s Dacotah Field.David Samson / The Forum
New turf that has been installed at North Dakota State’s Dacotah Field.David Samson / The Forum

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
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