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Jeff Kolpack, Published June 29 2011

Fargodome turf project gets an early OK

FARGO – The proposed new artificial turf for the Fargodome is alive and kicking. The Fargo Dome Authority on Tuesday unanimously approved preliminary plans to move the project forward and indications point to a new “Pure Grass 3D” system by the fall of 2012.

There were no objections to the Fargo Dome Authority Building Committee’s report of two cost estimates for the new turf, both by Astroturf. One, called Game Day Synthetic System, has an infill product with no padding at the cost of $2.45 million. The other, called Pure Grass 3D, has a padding but no infill at a cost of $2.52 million.

Fargodome general manager Rob Sobolik said his recommendation to the Dome Authority will be to go with the Pure Grass, which also carries an option of having one year to add infill to the product.

“My preference would be to use it, and maybe we do need to add the one pound per square foot infill,” Sobolik said.

Pure Grass has a pad with 5/8-inch thickness. The advantage of not having infill product is the dome would not have to deal with the tracking of the shredded rubber in the lower level.

The total cost of the project, which includes widening the storage pit on the south end of the dome floor by 15 feet, is budgeted at around $3 million. It will be paid for by the dome’s surplus fund, which is currently at about $34 million.

Sobolik said a few businesses have been identified for banding rights of $1 million-plus over the life of the turf. One, he said, has expressed “serious interest.” The money for the rights will go into the surplus fund, he said.

If approved at the Dome Authority’s July meeting and the project gets the OK from the Fargo City Commission, Sobolik said Astroturf would start on the mechanical system almost immediately.

The old surface, installed in 2002, is considered to be outdated, especially with its hardness. The advantage of the current “Magic Carpet” is the speed at which it is able to be rolled up and stored in a pit on the south end of the dome floor, but recent technology has made that possible with a cushier system.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia