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Upgrading the field of dreams

Posted by rc360 on April 7, 2010

Hughes Stadium will finally receive the renovation it deserves. (saccityexpress.com/Allison Valenzuela)

City College’s 82-year-old football stadium, Hughes Stadium, has hosted many events throughout its years.

It was the home to the Camellia Bowl, an NCAA bowl game, from 1961-1980. The Sacramento Solons, a minor league team based in Sacramento, played at Hughes Stadium from 1974-1976’ as the Milwaukee Brewers’ AAA minor-league baseball team. Even Pink Floyd came through City College’s sold out 23,000-seat historic venue in 1988.

Now, the stadium will be upgraded for the fall 2010 semester.

“They’re going to be re-doing the whole stadium,” head groundskeeper Ramon Casada says.
City College will be getting a new field with artificial turf, which means that maintaining it will take different measures.

“You still have to maintain an irrigation system under it,” Casada says. “We probably have to go to a class and speak to some of these other facilities that have it already in place.”

Grass and artificial turf both have its own advantages, for both athletics and maintenance.

“The game was built on grass, so ideally you want to be on grass,” football assistant coach Booker Guyton says.

“When it comes down to weather aspects, you’d rather be on the field turf because when it rains [there’s] the drainage system on the field turf, and the slickness is not as bad and you’re not dealing with mud.”

Likewise, City College offensive football lineman Scott Hodges agrees with Guyton.
“It feels like carpet,” Hodges says about playing on turf. “It’s more comfortable when you play on it.”

Also, an artificial field means that water is conserved.

“You’re not irrigating it to keep it green,” Casada said. “You only irrigate it to cool down the temperature.”

The maintenance of the field is a different story, according to Guyton. “It has its issues,” Guyton says. “It’s an old stadium. Anything with time starts to decay.”

Near the end of the football season in 2009, the field was visibly in bad shape. The football team had its practices and home games there. The women’s soccer team also used it.

“Our field gets messed up three or four games into the season,” Hodges says. “Plus there are high school games here.”

Casada says that taking care of the field is a year-round process.

“It’s an ongoing thing, not a 24-hour thing,” he says about taking care of the grass turf. “At different times of the year it’s more intense, from September all the way through January.”

Getting an artificial turf field will change the field, but the charm of the old stadium will remain.

“[It’s] probably one of the best junior college stadiums to play in west of the Mississippi River,” Guyton says.

Click here to read the story on the Express website.

Click here to read the story on the Express print newspaper.

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