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The Sanders Practice Fields will be fully renovated when the Gators return to practice in August. (Photos: Tim Casey)

Monday June 23, 2014Gators' Practice Fields Undergoing a Makeover

The Sanders Practice Fields will be fully renovated when the Gators return to practice in August. (Photos: Tim Casey)

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Gators envision greener pastures when the 2014 season kicks off against Idaho.

They will certainly have them when they return to the Sanders Practice Fields in August to start preparing for the Vandals.

UF’s practice fields are undergoing significant renovations to upgrade the playing surface and improve the irrigation and drainage systems for the two 120-yard fields located between McKethan Stadium and SW 2nd Ave.

Sanders Practice Fields

The fields are where the Gators practice during the regular season. The artificial-turf field at the practice facility will remain intact during the renovations.

“We’re basically removing four inches of playing surface to re-establish a new playing surface,” said Brian Barton, director of facilities for the University Athletic Association. “There will also be upgrades to the irrigation systems to get full coverage across all the fields and provide consistent conditions for the team.”

Florida Field underwent a similar renovation prior to the 2012 season.

Work on the Sanders Practice Fields started June 19 after the UF summer football camp season concluded. Barton said the work is on schedule to be completed by late July, which will give the grounds time to fully grow in before the Gators need to use them.

Florida practices during fall camp at the Donald R. Dizney Lacrosse Stadium and/or Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The new turf at the practice fields will be Celebration Bermuda, a common grass used on athletic fields in warm climates and the same turf installed at Florida Field two years ago.

The current construction is the second major renovation to the Sanders Practice Fields in three years. The UAA installed permanent towers around the fields in 2011 to provide improved safety for the Gators’ team of videographers.

 

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