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pakowitz 11-07-2003 07:32 PM

New Turf to be installed before Falcons game!!
Associated Press

New Orleans -- Football fans will see a new field in the Louisiana Superdome after this weekend's games.

The Superdome commission voted unanimously Thursday to split the $400,000 cost with the New Orleans Saints for the latest type of artificial turf, which will be used for the rest of this season and next season.

The field will be installed at a substantial discount by SRI Sports of Leander, Texas, the maker of the dome's original and current AstroTurf field. The new surface is called Astroplay.

"It looks great because it shows we're moving into the modern era," Superdome manager Doug Thornton said. "This represents the latest technology in turf products and we owe it to the players to give them the best possible surface, and players seem to like this better."

The current field is basically a plastic carpet with padding made of a foam and rubber compound. The new turf will have synthetic grass-like fibers on a bed of ground rubber and sand. It looks and feels much more like grass. It is softer and less abrasive for players who are tackled or fall on it.

Jim Savoca, executive vice president for sales at SRI, told the commission that installation would begin next week and be done well before the Saints host the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 16.

[Edited on 11/8/2003 by pakowitz]

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