July 12, 2006--Posted at 2:45 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO , AR -- For most lawns, Wednesday's rain was a welcome sign for dry grass across Region 8. But the rain is actually a hindrance to the grass for one of the biggest yards around.....Indian Stadium.
The Arkansas State Indian football team is looking to parlay last season's success with new state of the art facilities to attract some of the region's best recruits.
"In November, December, when you bring your recruits in, the grass is brown. But now it is going to be green year round," said Randy Knowles, ASU Assistant Athletic Director of Game Management and Facilities.
ASU is installing artificial turf on Indian Stadium, it's a plan that has been in the works for over a year and half but this week Mother Nature has slowed the process.
"We ran into some difficulties, but we are getting through it. We had some drainage problems," said Knowles.
The school is in the process of installing a new drainage system. However, every time it rains construction halts and with the first game of the season less than two months away, many Indian fans are wondering if the field will be ready.
"Once they start laying the turf it is anywhere from 20 to 25 days. So hopefully by next week, weather permitting, they can lay the turf. We could possibly have it by the end of the month," said Knowles.
Army rolls into Indian Stadium September second to face off against the Sun Belt Champions in the season opener and they are expecting every seat will be filled. The school has discussed contingency plans, but they have been assured by Pro Green that the field will be good to go.
"The game will be played at Indian Stadium. We'll have turf without a doubt, they promised us," said Knowles, "It's private funded. It's not costing ASU. It's funded by Indian Club private donations. It's about $600, 000."
As the clock on the opening kickoff ticks down ASU is hoping that touchdowns, not rain are in the forecast for Indian Stadium.