Texas Tech will debut a new playing surface this spring as construction crews began work Thursday morning on replacing the current FieldTurf product at Jones AT&T Stadium.
The project – which is funded through The Campaign for Fearless Champions – will be completed prior to the start of spring practices in early March. The new FieldTurf surface will replace the current version that was installed prior to the 2006 season.
"We're looking forward to bringing a new turf to Jones AT&T Stadium," Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "We remain committed to providing the best facilities in the country for our student-athletes. This project is a significant investment in our student-athletes' safety and performance."
The new surface will be similar to the version it is replacing. Both endzones will remain painted black with "Texas Tech" printed in red across the north end and "Red Raiders" in the south. The most significant difference will be the size of the Double T at midfield which will be enlarged to cover the entire distance between the hash marks.
Since moving to FieldTurf in 2006, the Red Raiders have boasted one of the best home-field advantages in the country thanks in part to a 45-23 record (.662 winning percentage) at home over the past 11 seasons. That span featured numerous victories over ranked opponents, including four wins over top-10 foes.
In addition to a multitude of wins, several of the top players in school history made their name on the surface, namely two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree as well as Jace Amaro, the FBS record-holder for receiving yards by a tight end, and Patrick Mahomes II, who set the FBS single-game mark for total offense this past season.
Jones AT&T Stadium has traditionally featured a turf playing surface throughout most of its history as Texas Tech first began using AstroTurf in 1970. The stadium has seen massive renovations over the past two decades with more than $150 million invested, making Jones AT&T Stadium one of the best college football facilities in the country.
The FieldTurf installation is one of two ongoing projects involving the football program as construction began last spring on the Sports Performance Center that is part of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. Athletics Complex. The multi-use facility will boast a state-of-the-art indoor track and field facility as well as an indoor football practice field.
The Red Raiders will begin spring practices in early March. A full schedule of events for the Red Raiders this spring will be announced in the upcoming weeks.