Saints will still play on synthetic turf
NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints and Tulane will be playing on their third surface in as many seasons this fall in the Superdome.
Last year the Superdome replaced the old Astroturf with a new, softer surface called AstroPlay. The product was more like natural grass and pleased players because it protected them against injuries better than the old surface.
But the Texas company that manufactured and installed the AstroPlay turf went bankrupt and Superdome officials agreed to buy a different variety of the same style of synthetic turf from a Canadian company.
The Superdome Commission, the state agency that oversees the stadium's operation, voted to approve a three-year contract with Sportexe, whose brand of turf is known as Momentum.
Like AstroPlay, Momentum turf features 2-inch blades of polyethylene "grass" supported by a 1¾-inch base of sand and rubber called infill.
Sportexe, based in Fonthill, Ontario, is one of three companies whose turf products have been approved by the National Football League. The Baltimore Ravens are the only other NFL team whose home stadium has Momentum turf, which was installed in 2003.
The Saints and the Superdome will split the $259,000 cost of buying and installing the new turf for the 2004 season.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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