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04 novembre 2021

University of Louisiana Monroe Installing FieldTurf DoublePlay for 2022

From day one as head coach of the University of Louisiana Monroe baseball team, Mike Federico began thinking about replacing the grass at Warhawk Field. Heavy rains often left the field unplayable, with severe drainage issues in the outfield and on the warning track. Rescheduled games and even cancellations were common.

“I knew we needed to make some adjustments,” Federico says.

Those adjustments are part of a $1.4 million facility upgrade at 38-year-old Warhawk Field that includes the installation of FieldTurf’s DoublePlay Speed system in the infield and FieldTurf’s DoublePlay Natural system in the outfield. Other changes include the relocation of bullpens and the addition of premium field-level seating behind home plate. The new and improved Warhawk Field is expected to be ready well in advance of ULM’s 2022 Opening Day in February.

DoublePlay Speed is engineered to play fast, with DoublePlay Natural designed to play like natural grass and clay. In developing both products, FieldTurf analyzed ball-surface interaction, speed and consistency on a variety of systems and created the DoublePlay Series to emulate the best results.

The DoublePlay surfaces not only will make Warhawk Field more playable and enhance the fan experience with aesthetic improvements, but it also will assist in ULM’s recruiting efforts.

“Kids today are used to playing on turf,” Federico says. “I’ve got a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old, and they play on turf all the time. The infields around here are predominantly turf and can host summer tournaments, and we get kids on our team whose high school fields were turf.”

The new surface will help make the transition between high school and college ball easier for players, while reducing time spent by coaches and staff on maintenance efforts. ULM is expected to see significant savings on seed, fertilizer and other expenses associated with maintaining a grass field.

“As coaches, it will allow us to have more time for player development and scouting reports,” Federico says. > “From recruiting to fan experience to player development, I don’t think you can go wrong with having FieldTurf,” Federico concludes. “I’m super-excited about this.”

Warhawk Field is not the only ULM venue to boast FieldTurf. The university’s football team also plays on FieldTurf at JPS Field at Malone Stadium.

The installation of DoublePlay at Warhawk Field will allow ULM to host more youth baseball tournaments, which is one reason why funding for this project included a $300,000 grant from the Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau.