ONU to install artificial turf for 2013-14 athletic season
Ohio Northern University’s Dial-Roberson Stadium and the infield of the track complex, located adjacent to the football facility, will both receive artificial turf for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
“The addition of turf at Ohio Northern University will help strengthen and add greater facility depth and flexibility to our athletic programs as well as provide more opportunities for all of our students,” said Daniel A. DiBiasio, president of Ohio Northern University. “Ohio Northern’s athletic programs are a regional and national power, and with this addition we will be able to enhance soccer, football, and track and field.”
Construction on the fields and resurfacing of the outdoor track are set to begin this month. Funding has come from a few key leadership contributions from Ohio Northern trustee and alumni donors. The installation of lights will be added in the future, which can lead to the possibility of hosting high school football playoff games and additional athletic and non-athletic events.
Pending construction schedules and weather conditions, Ohio Northern anticipates the new turf fields will be dedicated on Oct. 5, when the new field at Dial-Roberson Stadium will be named for William “Bill” Robinson, who is retiring after more than 50 years of service to ONU.
“We would like to thank the members of the ONU community who continue to deliver with their incredible financial support,” said John Bishop, ONU Board of Trustees chair. “These key gifts will help our athletic programs continue to thrive into the future. Ohio Northern would not be the great institution that it is today without the generous support of our donors.”
ONU will be one of a few schools in the region to have two fields that have turf. Ohio Northern will be the ninth school in the Ohio Athletic Conference to have a turf field.
“This is a huge step forward for our athletic programs,” said Tom Simmons, athletic director at Ohio Northern. “Having two turf fields will allow us to offer something that few schools can in the recruiting process.”
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams will play on the turf field inside the track, with greater access to facilities located at Dial-Roberson Stadium. Until completion, the soccer teams will continue to play at the ONU Soccer Field.
Due to construction on the field, Ohio Northern’s opening football game on Sept. 7 against Alfred State (N.Y.) will be moved to War Memorial Stadium at Ada Park, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. The Polar Bears will then return to campus to host top-ranked Mount Union on Oct. 5 at 1:30 p.m.