McMahon Stadium's fancy new turf has had its initial dry run.
And unlike a year ago, when the first CFL pre-season game was played through rivulets flowing across the field, last night's soggy, wet contest against the visiting B.C. Lions wasn't hampered by old-fashioned carpet that couldn't handle a steady drizzle.
The FieldTurf surface, installed last month to replace an Astroturf rug that had outstayed its welcome, passed its first real test according to the Calgary Stampeders.
"The field is so much better than last year," said Jeremaine Copeland, who was only too familiar with the former surface.
"The field wasn't slippery tonight whatsoever."
The new FieldTurf has a rubber infill that allows water to drain through it instead of allowing it to collect and run off the field.
"It was pretty bad last year but, with this new stuff, it has a drainage system so we don't worry about the rain one bit," added Copeland, who collected eight passes for 148 yards.
"Now, it's just a matter of keeping the ball dry.
"Now it's a great field to play on and it proved it tonight."
Players from both teams enjoyed consistent traction throughout the contest with none of the slipping and sliding that was associated with the old surface.
WRIGHT OUT: Canadian Football League governors have informed commissioner Tom Wright they do not plan to renew his contract past the end of the 2006 season, according to league sources.
Wright, entering his fourth season at the CFL's helm, has been on thin ice for more than a year since narrowly receiving approval for a one-year contract extension last spring. However, according to CFL sources, he is aware he does not enjoy the necessary 75% support to have his contract renewed again. The board informed the commissioner that it wants him to remain at his post through the end of this year's Grey Cup game in Winnipeg.