by David Barron in General
Forty-six years and about 150 yards removed from the building that made it a household name, AstroTurf® arrived Monday at Reliant Stadium.
A considerably updated version of the carpet on which the Astros played in 1966 and on which Earl Campbell bulldozed defenders in the late 1970s was rolled out at Reliant Stadium, where it will be used for high school playoff games as early as next month and, potentially, high school championship games in 2013.
Mark Miller, general manager of Reliant Park, said the new AstroTurf® field cost about $1.2 million, including installation, maintenance and storage equipment.
For now, it will be kept when it is not in use — irony of ironies — in the empty, endangered Astrodome, where artificial playing fields first went into widespread use in the mid-1960s.
“That is an interesting point,” Miller said. “But to me, the story is what it will do for us. It will be instrumental, we hope, in getting the high school championship games here. That was the driving force.”