The Dairy Field will be converted into a multipurpose turf field after Spring quarter, and is slated to open in October 2012.
While the cost of the project, which includes new restrooms, bike racks and energy-efficient lights in addition to the new turf, may appear high at $4.5 million, the long-term benefits of the field are worth the high price tag.
Artificial turf can withstand much more frequent use than natural grass. As a result, the new artificial turf field will require less maintenance and upkeep than the current field. With dozens of club teams and intramural (IM) teams using the field on a daily basis, this could add up over the next several years, easily paying back the steep initial costs.
The multipurpose turf is also able to endure harsh weather, meaning there will be fewer games and practices cancelled due to wind or rain. The new field will include three IM soccer fields, which will make it easier for teams to schedule games.
By renovating Dairy Field, the university is demonstrating a renewed interest in providing athletic opportunities not only to those who play on UC Davis athletic teams, but also to those who want to simply play sports for fun. It is refreshing to see the university commit to providing a higher-quality athletic experience to its students while simultaneously reducing long-term costs.
We should applaud efforts to improve the quality of students’ extracurricular activities, because after the next round of midterms, we’ll need the exercise.