Field named for alumni donors
$850K given for new artificial turf that gives players superior surface
The heavy rain caused flooding and car rollovers on Saturday night but didn’t deter the University of Windsor Lancers football team from christening a new field in their game against the Guelph Gryphons.
The need for the artificial turf was necessary according to Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and U of W alumnus, who jokingly referred to the Lancers’ “embarrassing mud bowls,” at the dedication ceremony of the stadium that will now be called Alumni Field, in recognition of the donors who made the initiative possible.
Windsor-born Peddie developed a love for Lancer football and said it took him only a second to agree to help with the initiative.
Peddie, who was present at the very first Lancers football game in the fall of 1968, said he was not a football player himself but his brother was a linebacker. “I personally believe there’s a strong correlation between students who are active in sports, their academic performance and overall graduation rates. This is why I remain strongly committed to the university’s worthy athletic projects and initiatives.”
University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman, joked that “turf dries faster than mud,” and added that the installation was not just good for the players but for the university.
While the U of W has the “only artificial turf field in the Windsor-Essex County area,” turf is being used at the professional level by many professional teams.
The University of Windsor hopes to provide a superior playing surface for the Lancers and eliminate costs to the university in field repairs and down time. The special turf is supposed to, “match up so closely to the playing characteristics of good natural grass that players rarely notice the difference,” according to fieldturf.com, the official website for Field Turf, the company responsible for the installation of the new field.
The Alumni Field will be available for yearround use which will in turn fund its upgrades and maintenance said alumni association president Jeff Flacks.
The upgrade was paid for by donations of $500,000 from the alumni association — the largest donation in the association’s history — a $100,000 private donation from Peddie, and a $250,000 long-term user agreement between the university and the Catholic school board.