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Rice University Owls Get the Works with Brand-New AstroTurf® Football Field at Rice Stadium

Houston, TX  – Rice University football re-ups with Astroturf®, the iconic company that invented the synthetic turf industry in the 1960s. The Rice Owls are set to kick off their first home game for the 2021 season on a newly installed AstroTurf® RootZone 3D3 60-ounce turf, a high-performance playing surface that will enable them to completely unleash on the field.

Owl fans can follow the progress of the installation live via a webcam sponsored by Symmetry Sports Construction.

The field is being expertly installed by Symmetry Sports Construction, a certified AstroTurf distributor.

With a 2-inch pile height and a Brock YSR shockpad, the new field offers unrivaled support and shock absorption. The Owls’ RootZone 3D3 system also comes with special features, including a unique monofilament fiber that’s purpose-built to increase resilience.

The RootZone itself is a proprietary infill stabilization system of textured nylon. It holds the premium sand and BrockFill infill in place efficiently, which prevents splash and migration. All of these elements come together to form a consistent surface that athletes prefer. And that lives up to AstroTurf’s longstanding reputation for producing products that enhance durability, safety, and sports performance.

This system, that includes AstroTurf’s 3D3 technology over a BrockPad and BrockFill was recently awarded Innovation of the Year by STMA. Often found in Texas installations, this system captures the latest advances in the sports construction industry.

The new AstroTurf field at Rice Stadium is one more chapter in the company’s storied history with Rice Athletics. The stadium, which is located less than two miles from the Houston Astrodome, the venue that introduced AstroTurf to the world, was one of the first Division 1 football fields that was converted to synthetic turf in 1970. Even more noteworthy, the 1974 Super Bowl at Rice Stadium was the very first Super Bowl played on an AstroTurf field.

The recently finished Robert L. Waltrip Indoor Training Center, an 80,000 square foot inflatable structure built to house practices for the school’s intercollegiate sports teams in addition to intramural and community events, is also an AstroTurf RootZone3D3 60-ounce Trionic system field.  Completed in 2020, the Waltrip Center is the latest in over $54 million in upgrades and new construction projects directly benefitting each of Owls’ 16 intercollegiate programs over the past seven years. AstroTurf® also installed the endzone replacements at Rice Stadium in 2018 with the Owls’ updated branding.

This latest installation for the football team will replace the RootZone 3DM system AstroTurf installed at the stadium in 2014. It is also the perfect project to mark the start of an exciting season for the Owls.

Despite missing out on half of their games due to COVID-19, the Owls made national headlines by shutting out 15th ranked Marshall on the road in 2020 and and enter their first season on their new playing surface having won five of their last eight games.

The Owls are sitting on a talented returning starting, including 19 of 22 starters from last season in addition to the return of several key starters from 2019 who missed last season.

After opening the 2021 season with a road contest at Arkansas on September 4th , their new field will have its debut when the Owls host cross-town rival Houston in the 40th Bayou Bucket, which will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.  The home schedule also includes games with Texas Southern, Southern Mississippi, North Texas, WKU, and LA Tech. Tickets are on sale online.

About AstroTurf®

For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport, and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams, and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.