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Brandi Jewett, Forum News Service, Published April 25 2013

Alerus Center turf ripped out after seven months

GRAND FORKS - Only seven months after its $4 million turf upgrade was completed, the Alerus Center in Grand Forks is having it torn out and replaced free of charge by the manufacturer.

Staff encountered problems while converting the city-owned event center’s arena to a football field, according to Operations Manager Jeremy Linstad.

“The field itself was performing fine,” he said. “We were having issues with the conversion process.”

At times, the problems left some of the football field sidelines out of alignment, which Linstad said was noticed near the end of the UND football season.

The turf was used for the team’s six home games and its spring game. The field also played host to the state high school football tournament.

Crews removed the turf over the course of two days this week. Linstad says the Alerus Center’s busy schedule kept it from replacing the turf sooner.

The product’s maker, AstroTurf, will be back in June to install new turf at no cost to the events center. The installation process is expected to take about three weeks.

“(AstroTurf) took control, and they’re making things right,” Linstad said.

The upgrade to the new turf and AstroTurf’s Magic Carpet II Conversion System was completed in August 2012. The system features Game Day Grass 3D60H, a turf designed to more effectively mimic grass and be easier on the bodies of the athletes that are tackled or dive onto it.

The project’s price tag included the replacement of the facility’s 11-year old turf and the construction of a pit where the new turf is stored on a roll when not in use.