Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The conversion of Lindsey Nelson Stadium's grass field to artificial turf is underway. It's first major stadium project since 2010.
The project will not only help the Vols' baseball program but the community as a whole, with the City of Knoxville and the surrounding community both set to benefit from the new field.
Tennessee will now be able to host a series of tournaments that will positively affect commerce, bringing more people to campus and Knoxville. Additionally, the ability to host camps without compromising the playing field will allow the staff to form closer relationships with the baseball community and others around the state of Tennessee. More community service activities and alumni events will now be able to take place on the field as well.
"We're committed to maintaining first-class facilities at Tennessee, and this project gets us off to a great start at Lindsey Nelson Stadium," Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said. "We made this decision with player development in mind. Converting the field from natural grass to an artificial surface gives (head coach Tony) Vitello and his staff more flexibility in terms of when they can practice and how they can practice.
"It also expands the calendar in terms of scheduling games and camps. Getting greater, year-round use from the facility was also something we desired. We expect this new surface to open up new opportunities for youth baseball events, community service and beyond, strengthening the Knoxville community's bond with Lindsey Nelson Stadium and Tennessee Baseball."
Carolina Green is currently performing the work on Robert M. Lindsay Field. The 126,000 square-foot surface that will be installed is a product of FieldTurf, which is the industry leader in artificial turf. FieldTurf's primary manufacturing facility is located in nearby Calhoun, Georgia.
The playing surface and facility upgrades are scheduled to be completed prior to the Vols' season opener versus Appalachian State on Feb. 15, 2019.