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Eastern Washington University Sees Red On Football Field

On Saturday, Eastern Washington University will install a new playing surface at its on-campus football field.

That's not really newsworthy, until you consider the color of the new turf. Doug Nadvornick explains.

EWU Football FIeld
Artist rendering of EWU's football stadium

For years, the Eastern Washington Eagles have played on real grass at their home field, about 20 miles west of Spokane.

Athletic Director Bill Chaves says, by the end of the season, the playing surface is usually beaten to a grassy pulp.

Bill Chaves: "We certainly have had instances that you can't recognize either of the teams."

So Eastern's replacing the grass with the latest generation of synthetic turf.

But, instead of boring old green, the university has stolen a page from the Boise State playbook. The Broncos have been known for years for their blue turf.

Chaves says, next fall, his Eagles will play on a red field.

Bill Chaves: "There's no other red field in the world. For us, a point of differentiation."

About half of the $1 million cost will be paid by former Eastern player Michael Roos, who now plays professionally for the Tennessee Titans. Chaves says the rest of the cost will be covered by private donations.

He says the red field should be done in time for Eastern's first home game in September.