Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium could eventually receive a natural grass playing surface, as University of Texas officials sound open to a change.
Royal-Memorial Stadium originally featured a natural grass playing surface. A new artificial turf field was installed in 1969, with the university going back to grass in 1996 and later installing a FieldTurf surface in 2009.
Royal-Memorial Stadium continues to utilize a turf surface, though that could change down the road if Texas opts to go back to natural grass. While the potential transition is not something that has been finalized, Texas officials sound open to the idea of eventually going back to natural grass at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Some concerns would have to be addressed, however, including the potential for offseason wear and tear. More from The Austin American-Statesman:
“I just like the idea of grass,” UT athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “I like the smell of grass when you come out playing, but it’s also really a coach’s preference. I just like a grass field.”
Asked if he wanted grass, coach Tom Herman said, “I waffle a little bit on it. I do.
“I would love grass,” Herman said. “I love grass. I believe that football was meant to be played on grass. In our part of the country, there isn’t a lot of teams with grass.”
“The issue with the grass is now in the winter offseason and the summer conditioning and when the grass is down, where do you go do all your offseason drills?,” Herman said. “If you go out there every day, you’re going to tear up the grass.”
Natural grass surfaces are fairly uncommon in the Big 12, the conference in which Texas competes. According to the American-Statesman, only three Big 12 teams–Iowa State, Oklahoma, and TCU–play home games on natural grass fields.
Image courtesy Texas Longhorns football.