Aug 31, 2012, 2:24 PM EDT
Yes, America is about to get it’s first black turf football field, and it’s happening in Oregon. West Salem High, home of the mighty Titans, will unveil it’s new black field in its opener tonight against South Medford at 7 p.m. Here’s what the field looks like.
The field even has a nickname: The Black Hole.
Why black? Well, it is one of their school colors (black, red and silver), and besides, it saved the school about $140,000. Wait, what?
West Salem’s previous green FieldTurf, installed in 2002, needed replacing due to wear. Cost? $437,000. But FieldTurf offered the school a discount if they went with an “unusual” color, and since all the other cool colors — red, blue, purple — have been used by other schools, they went with black. So FieldTurf is charging them only $300,000.
“It never dawned on me that it would mean as much to this community as it does,” West Salem athletic director Bryan Sutherland said. “From what we understand it’s the only black field in the country. That’s really taken off over here.”
Well, it’s not the only black football field. That is, if you count Arena Football. The Nebraska Danger of the Indoor Football League has black turf in Eihusen Arena (pictured).
But wait … West Salem’s home jerseys are black. Won’t they be invisible? Not to worry — the team is getting new green jerseys. The field and the jerseys were all paid for through fundraisers, by the way.
Four major sponsors — Les Schwab Tire Centers, Roth’s Fresh Markets, Meduri Farms and the West Salem Rotary Club — each gave major donations to the project and their logos have been sewn into the home sideline of the field, off the playing surface for all sports.
“I think given the economy the way it is, I think people realize now the ideal of having all the money we want in the public trough, if you will, is gone,” Sutherland said. “It’s a terrible economy, things are tough.
“We’re going to have to turn to advertising, that’s the way it is.”
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