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Campus Life + Sports

Nickerson Field Gets a Face-lift

Time-lapse video tracks installation of new artificial turf

Nickerson Field gets a workout. Home to the BU men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse teams and used by several club sports and ROTC, Nickerson averages 3,000 hours of use each year. At the height of the year, the field is in use as many as 14 hours a day.

Nickerson’s last face-lift was back in 2008, when its AstroTurf surface was replaced with FieldTurf.

This summer, the field underwent its latest transformation: a crew worked 12 hours a day for 5 weeks to remove the old turf and install 110,000 square feet of a cutting-edge synthetic turf called GreenFields MX Trimension, made by GreenFields. The state-of-the-art field surface is said to be the most durable in the world, to provide improved control of a soccer ball, and to be easier on athletes’ knees and joints.

“It was super exciting to get onto a world-class premier surface,” says Casey Brown (COM’10), women’s soccer associate head coach. “The blades are super soft, and the surface plays quick while providing support for the players running around.”

With the new turf, Nickerson becomes one of just 10 artificial fields in the country to earn FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) 2 Star certification, given only to those fields that ensure the highest playing performance for professional level soccer.

Not bad for a field that just celebrated its 100th birthday. Last month marked the centennial of the opening of what was then the biggest baseball park in the country, Braves Field, home of the National League’s Boston Braves, America’s oldest professional baseball franchise. BU acquired Braves Field in 1953 when the Braves decamped to Milwaukee, and it was renamed Nickerson Field.

BU will mark the centennial of the field with a special panel discussion and tour during Alumni Weekend, on September 26 at 3 p.m. at Nickerson Field. Alumni interested in attending the event can register here.

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