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July 18th 2022

This Ain't Your Typical High School Football Stadium

They say everything is bigger in Texas and the City of Midland’s $23 million Scharbauer Sports Complex is certainly no exception.

Adorned with FieldTurf’s CoolPlay surface, the 14,000-seat Astound Broadband Powered by Grande Stadium is the crown jewel of the multi-sport facility and one the largest high school football venues in the country.

FieldTurf installed its exclusive and innovative extruded composite (EC) top dressing at the stadium, as well as each of the complex’s four auxiliary fields.

This dressing allows the CoolPlay system to deliver the same behavior and overall stability as FieldTurf's Elite system fields found in the world's most famous stadiums - all while reducing the amount of heat emanating from the surface.

Scharbauer Sports Complex Superintendent Andy Decker said the FieldTurf CoolPlay system proved to be the ideal solution for the City of Midland as it looked to find a surface suitable for the West Texas climate.

“It makes it more comfortable for the players and coaches and hopefully we don’t run into any dehydration situations because of the heat coming off the field,” Decker said. "The Midland Independent School District’s soccer teams also utilise the stadium. They get more experience of the heat when we get into April and they get into their playoff run and the heat starts to rise a little. Being out in West Texas, obviously everybody knows there’s not a tonne of days where we get a lot of rain. We may go anywhere from 200 to 300 days without rain. The turf holds up extremely well in this type of climate and it does a great job.”

Decker said FieldTurf’s client-first approach and custom product solutions allowed the City of Midland to bring their vision for the complex to life.

“FieldTurf really allowed us to use the colors we needed. For the City of Midland, our colors are blue… we like the way it pops with the green,” Decker said. "The end zones, they have the city’s logo on them, which was a decision we made with FieldTurf, who made it really easy to accomplish that goal.”

In addition to the regular football and soccer matches that take place on Astound Broadband Powered by Grande Stadium, the four auxiliary fields also experience a high volume of youth and adult recreational sports.

The sheer amount of foot traffic and frequency of use at the venue required a solution that was durable enough to cater for the community’s needs across a range of different age groups and ability levels.

Decker said FieldTurf’s surfaces ensure quality, performance and safety for athletes at both the elite and community level.

“There are times we may have multiple youth football associations or soccer out here,” Decker said. "There are four-year-olds that play on these fields, this is what they grow up on. These auxillary fields are necessary to help the youth grow. The participation has risen so much over the years and is continuing to rise… putting fields out here made great sense and it helps accomodate the community.”

Decker said the City of Midland was so pleased with the customer service and quality of product provided by FieldTurf, that they would look to utilise the company again for future projects.

“We plan to put two more fields out in the area so we can better accomodate the youth we have out here and tournaments trying to be held in this community,” Decker said.

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