UW considers auctioning off old turf

July 16, 2012

MADISON, Wis. — The installation of new FieldTurf at Camp Randall Stadium finished on time last month as part of a major renovation project at the University of Wisconsin. So, what happened to all those yards of old turf?

According to Justin Doherty, UW's associate athletic director for external relations, most of the turf was turned over to the construction company working on the renovation project. But 100 cut out squares of the old turf remain. Wisconsin's athletic department now must decide what to do with it.

Among the variety of options being discussed is handing it out to donors who gave to the stadium project, according to Doherty.

"For football fans who are friends of the program and have watched games that took place on that turf, I think it would be a neat souvenir for people," Doherty said. "I don't think we really discussed or were in the mode of trying to sell it necessarily. The conversations were really more about the potential to use it as a thank you."

Doherty said other options had been discussed in the spring, including auctioning the turf or even holding onto it for a while longer.

"Going forward, we've got to figure out exactly what we want to do," Doherty said.

The new FieldTurf installation is part of an overall $86 million renovation project of Camp Randall Stadium. Plans also include adding a three-story academic and strength training center on the north end of the stadium, as well as renovations to the lower level of the McClain Athletic Facility -- an indoor training space built in 1986 that sits northeast of Camp Randall Stadium.

UW last updated its turf in 2003, installing FieldTurf for the first time in Camp Randall Stadium and in the McClain Center. FieldTurf is a synthetic grass surface that is far less harsh on players' bodies than AstroTurf, which Wisconsin's field had from 1968 to 2002.

Camp Randall Stadium, built in 1917, is the fourth-oldest stadium in the country and originally had a natural grass field.

Student season tickets sold out: Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin finally had their chance to snatch up football season tickets last week -- all of 15 minutes, at least.

Roughly 1,700 tickets for graduate students went on sale July 10 at 7:30 a.m. CT through an online purchasing process. By 7:45 a.m., they were all gone.

The speed with which graduate student season tickets disappeared is not surprising considering how quickly undergraduate tickets vanished three weeks earlier.

Brian Moore, UW's assistant athletic director for ticket operations, told FOXSportsWisconsin.com last month that 11,800 undergraduate student tickets sold out in 41 minutes. Tickets went on sale Monday, June 18 at 7:30 a.m. CT and were gone at 8:11 a.m. CT.

The cost for the seven-game student ticket package was $168. Student season tickets have sold out at Wisconsin for each of the past 19 seasons.

Single-game tickets for nonconference games go on sale to the general public at 8:30 a.m. CT Monday with a starting cost of $45 per ticket. Those three contests are against Northern Iowa (Sept. 1), Utah State (Sept. 15) and UTEP (Sept. 22).

If available, single-game tickets for Wisconsin's conference games will go on sale to the general public on Monday, Aug. 6 at 8:30 a.m. CT.

Six Badgers on watch lists: Two more Wisconsin football players were added to preseason watch lists last week, bringing the total thus far to six.

Senior linebacker Mike Taylor is a candidate for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, given annually to the best defensive player in college football. Senior left tackle Ricky Wagner is up for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman.

Wagner has appeared in 38 games through his first three seasons at Wisconsin. He has started 24 games, including all 14 contests last season at left tackle.

Taylor has started all 33 games in which he has suited up for the Badgers. A first-team All-Big Ten media pick last season, Taylor led the conference with 150 tackles and ranked third nationally in total stops.

UW linebacker Chris Borland, already a Chuck Bednarik Award candidate, is also up for the Nagurski Trophy. Center Travis Frederick, who is a Rimington Trophy candidate, joined Wagner on the Outland Trophy watch list.

Other Badgers on preseason watch lists are running back Montee Ball (Maxwell Award) and tight end Jacob Pedersen (John Mackey Award).

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