University Park, Pa. — Jeffrey Field, the home of Penn State soccer, is scheduled to undergo a renovation to its playing surface this offseason. In late spring/early summer, the current bluegrass will be replaced by ryegrass, providing the Nittany Lions with the same type of turf upon which the world-class clubs of England’s Premiership compete.
"As a multi-use facility that hosts a large number of events throughout the year and in all types of weather conditions, the renovation of the playing surface at Jeffrey Field was essential," said Athletic Field Supervisor Herb Combs, who will oversee the project. "The in-house renovation from Kentucky Bluegrass to Perennial Ryegrass will not only help the overall speed of the game, but, just as importantly in this day and age, improve the aesthetic appeal of our facility to our fans who attend in person or watch on television."
Widely regarded as one of the finest pitches in the nation, Jeffrey Field was honored as the Collegiate Soccer Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association in 2006. The resurfacing will elevate its status even further and afford current and future Nittany Lions the best opportunity to develop their game.
"I am really excited that our players will be playing on the same type fast grass surface that they watch the ball zip around on each week in the English Premiership and Spanish League," said Penn State men’s head coach Bob Warming. "I believe the fans are going to enjoy it as well. We want to develop the best level of player we can at Penn State and one of the many important factors in development is the surface the players play on each week. Penn State’s commitment across the board to making the student-athletes experience remarkable is simply unmatched by anywhere I have seen. The grounds crew for our grass training fields and the stadium is the best in the country and the fields our players train on every day and play on certainly reflect the care these hard-working men put into our surface."
Coupled with the soccer-only practice fields, which were opened in the fall of 2008 and features separate pitches for the men’s and women’s teams, natural grass surfaces, grids for specialty training, and a state-of-the-art irrigation and drainage system, Penn State has placed itself at the forefront of collegiate soccer facilities.
"We have been very fortunate to have our soccer programs competing on he finest surfaces in both training and in matches," said Penn State women’s head coach Erica Walsh. "This is yet another step toward making Penn State the best place in the country to play college soccer."
Originally constructed in 1969, Jeffrey Field was dedicated on Sept. 29, 1972 and has been the home of the Nittany Lions since. Located in the heart of the Penn State athletic facilities complex with a picturesque view of Mount Nittany, the stadium is named in honor of the late Bill Jeffrey, legendary head coach of the soccer program from 1926-52.