Major Field Renovation Planned for Big Ten School

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The University of Michigan recently announced an $8 million plan to renovate Mitchell Field, its main outdoor athletics area. Consisting primarily of a general field and a softball field, the area will undergo a complete overhaul, with artificial turf replacing the existing lawn.
Mitchell Field averages 800 users an evening when intramural and club sports are in session, according to the University of Michigan. Rugby, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, and other sports all take place on the field, which was built in 1981. The university hopes the new artificial turf will increase usage flexibility, growing the field’s capacity and extending its operating hours and operating season.
The renovation is part of a $173 million plan to renovate the university’s unions, gyms, and athletic fields. Funding will come in part from an approved uptick in student fees.
“Athletic facilities at large universities, especially at a Big Ten school, serve a huge demand,” notes Eric Willin, COO of EZFacility, a sports facility management software developer in Woodbury, New York. “Overhauls of this magnitude are occasionally necessary. The end result no doubt will allow for better water drainage, minimal field closures, and a great deal more usage.”
In addition to upgrading the field, the university will erect fences and install new lighting. The existing field house will be converted to a storage center. Ultimately, the university aims to build a new 3,200-square-foot building that holds bathrooms, on-site maintenance, and operational support.