Artificial turf on the way

MEGAN SARRAZIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:24 PM ET

Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side.

Artificial turf replacing natural grass at Commonwealth Stadium will be complete by next week, say city and Esk's officials.

"It's a great time to do it -- we'll definitely have green grass for Grey Cup in November this year," said Rick LeLacheur, Esk's president and CEO.

The City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Eskimos teamed up to do the 50/50 cost-shared project ringing in at $2.6 million.

In eight of the nine previous seasons, the field had to be replaced at an annual cost of $50,000, with a projected cost of $70,000 this year, according to Chris Ward of Capital Construction.

"This type of field is probably the best that you could find in the world," said Patrick Kabongo, Eskimos offensive lineman, who played on a similar field in college.

The new turf is expected to reduce injuries to players, due to the shock-pad lying underneath. It is also environmentally-friendly, as it is recycled and recyclable.

"Natural grass, obviously, takes a lot of abuse from concerts, from football games, and having this ... different kind of field surface now is going to enable us to host a lot more events and be able to transition between football and other kinds of events that are hosted here," said Rob Smyth with the City of Edmonton Community Services.

It is estimated the new field will have a lifetime of about eight to 10 years. After that, it will cost about half a million to replace, according to Ward.


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