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December 13th 2018

Vols Trust the Science and Partner with FieldTurf for Stadium Conversion

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee baseball program is embarking on its first major stadium project since 2010 with the conversion of Lindsey Nelson Stadium's grass field to artificial turf.

The project will not only help the Vols' baseball program but the community as a whole, with the City of Knoxville and the surrounding community both set to benefit from the new field

Tennessee will now be able to host a series of tournaments that will positively affect commerce, bringing more people to campus and Knoxville. Additionally, the ability to host camps without compromising the playing field will allow the staff to form closer relationships with the baseball community and others around the state of Tennessee. More community service activities and alumni events will now be able to take place on the field as well.

"We're committed to maintaining first-class facilities at Tennessee, and this project gets us off to a great start at Lindsey Nelson Stadium," Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said. "We made this decision with player development in mind. Converting the field from natural grass to an artificial surface gives (head coach Tony) Vitello and his staff more flexibility in terms of when they can practice and how they can practice.

"It also expands the calendar in terms of scheduling games and camps. Getting greater, year-round use from the facility was also something we desired. We expect this new surface to open up new opportunities for youth baseball events, community service and beyond, strengthening the Knoxville community's bond with Lindsey Nelson Stadium and Tennessee Baseball."

Carolina Green is currently performing the work on Robert M. Lindsay Field. The 126,000 square-foot surface that will be installed is a product of FieldTurf, which is the industry leader in artificial turf. FieldTurf's primary manufacturing facility is located in nearby Calhoun, Georgia.

"The field is at the centerpiece of this 2018-19 project," Vitello said. "But upgrades and work will also be done on the home bullpen area, our batting cages and the players' locker room."

Over the last year, the team clubhouse and weight room saw updates as well.

"I consider myself a traditionalist, but player development and building a winning program is more important than any personal preference. All evidence points to this surface being a key component of accomplishing those two major goals."

"Coach Fulmer has spent a great deal of time and energy in an effort to make sure every sport here at UT is seen as important and takes winning championships very seriously," Vitello said. "Our student-athletes are incredibly fortunate to immediately benefit from these actions that support that philosophy. Our administration's belief in our staff and our program prior to seeing results will be something that will go a long way for us."

The playing surface and facility upgrades are scheduled to be completed prior to the Vols' season opener versus Appalachian State on Feb. 15, 2019.

Daily photo updates and time lapses can be seen HERE.

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