This football offseason has been an adventurous one to be sure, with the majority of the conversation wrapped around the finances of MAC football and how schools may be better served spending all that money on non-sports type things. The flip side of that conversation is that the athletic department is the front porch of the university and a good investment for things like branding, notoriety, and awareness. The Toledo Rockets are in the latter group rather than the former as they announced the installation of a new playing surface in the Glass Bowl was completed today.
"It's nice, a lot different from the old turf," said junior quarterback Logan Woodside to UTRockets.com. "It's thicker and softer. It feels more like real grass. It's not as hard so I think that could help prevent injuries."
"I think it's going to be faster," added junior linebacker Ja'Wuan Woodley. "I think our cleats will sink into it better and give us better traction." I think I speak for the rest of the MAC when I say I'm not entirely sold on that feature as a positive. Toledo was plenty fast as it was, and increasing said speed doesn't seem like a sustainable strategy for parity. The new FieldTurf surface is called Revolution 360 and features the latest in cutting-edge playing surface technology. The new surface will replace a FieldTurf surface that was installed in 2008. The project took about a month to complete.
"Any time you can make improvements to your stadium, it's good for the program," said head coach Jason Candle. "Our players are excited about playing on a new FieldTurf surface next fall."
What's that? You want a video of how it all got installed? Fine. But only because you asked so nicely.
Check out the full installation of the new FieldTurf at the Glass Bowl!https://t.co/EpToQnG0pD— Toledo Football (@ToledoFB) May 23, 2016
In all seriousness, it's always a good thing when a MAC school installs something new, builds something needed and shiny, or in general just steps their game up. A rising tide lifts all boats, and these rising tides across the conference means it's put up or shut up time when it comes to being competitive.