The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has decided to majorly upgrade the playing field at TD Place.
The existing turf will be removed and replaced with “FieldTurf Core,” a state-of-the art playing surface engineered to provide athletes with a more grass-like feel to help enhance performance, with optimal durability, resiliency and shock absorbency.
“This is great news for all athletes that will compete on the field at TD Place and for the fans that will watch them perform,” Mark Goudie, OSEG’s CEO, said.
“It also heightens our ability to bring major national and international sporting events to Ottawa and attract a wider-range of fans to TD Place.”
FieldTurf, a global leader in the artificial turf industry, also supplied the current playing surface at TD Place. It was installed in 2014 as part of a major refurbishment of the stadium prior to the start of the Ottawa Redblacks first season in the Canadian Football League and the Ottawa Fury’s first season in the North American Soccer League.
“This new surface to TD Place will benefit all athletes who have the privilege of playing here and this investment emphasizes the commitment to excellence that’s shared by our OSEG ownership partners,” Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins said.
Both professional teams played their home games and practiced on the field, which was also used for high school football, amateur soccer clinics and matches, as well as international soccer matches and “friendlies.” The FieldTurf Core product is the highest rated artificial turf in history due to its multi-layer fiber technology and unique triple-layer infill system. (As rated by Labosport, a global leader in laboratory and on-site sport field testing.)
“We’re proud and excited to continue to be the trusted surface of TD Place Stadium,” Eric Daliere, FieldTurf president, said.
“It’s a privilege to partner with those that share our dedication to excellence and unwavering desire for quality. The city of Ottawa will continue to be home to one of Canada’s leading venues.”
A few days prior to the laying of the turf in 2014, a 1976 silver dollar was embedded in the subsurface by Mayor Jim Watson as a tribute to what was then the last Ottawa CFL team to win a Grey Cup: the 1976 Ottawa Rough Riders. The coin, donated by local football fan, Scott Bradley, was intended to deliver some championship karma to the Redblacks.
After their expansion season in 2014, the Redblacks went on to appear in three of the next four Grey Cup games, winning the Grey Cup championship in 2016. The ’76 silver dollar will remain in place under the new turf and, to add to the karma, a 2016 silver dollar will be placed next to it by a Redblacks season seat member to commemorate the 2016 Grey Cup victory.
The new turf will be installed in the month of April and be ready for Atlético Ottawa’s Canadian Premier League home-opener on May 16. That means the surface will be good to go for the Redblacks’ first pre-season game against Montreal on Friday, May 29.