Yulman Stadium at heart of Tulane's effort to improve fans’ experience _lowres

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER Construction on Yulman Stadium earlier this year on the Tulane campus.

The actual field in Tulane’s “Home Field Advantage” can sometimes get overlooked.

On Monday, it took center stage.

Crews began laying the artificial turf at Yulman Stadium, the start of a two-week process, according to Vince Granito, Tulane’s Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations.

“All of the turf gets rolled out on the big rolls from wall to wall of the stadium, and those are seamed together,” Granito said. “Then they’ll cut in the numbers and the logos, hashmarks and all of those markings. Then, the rubber is added after all of that, and it’s graded.”

UBU Sports, which also provides the turf and installation at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, is using a product the Green Wave is familiar with. According to UBU’s website the Speed Series 5M model being installed at Yulman Stadium is 70 percent rubber, 30 percent sand, features 1,024 fibers per square foot and stands 2.5 inches off the ground.

It is insured with an eight-year product warranty.

“We looked at a number of different products initially,” Granito said. “We were comfortable with UBU because they are the ones who did the field we have been playing our home games on, and they’ve been with the Superdome for a long time. So we went in with them.”

Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said he would like to familiarize his team with the surface as soon as possible, although the preseason practice schedule currently has no set date for workouts inside Yulman Stadium.

Construction on the stadium is not expected to end until just before Tulane’s Sept. 6 kickoff against Georgia Tech, so there’s no true timetable for when it’s safe for the team to get on the field as of now.

“We really want to get people on the turf after it’s down,” Granito said. “The biggest issue we have is that it’s going to be down on a construction site. So, we are working with the construction company to talk about when we can get in there and actually get on the field.

“There are some liability issues that need to be worked out, but we honestly haven’t even gotten into that level of detail yet. The team is certainly going to get on there well before the Georgia Tech game, it’s just a matter of when.”