A little more than two and a half weeks after the Texas Longhorns began replacing the 12-year-old FieldTurf at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the work is nearly complete.
It appears that the last major task involves putting down the text in the south end zone.
The new turf is a darker green with darker burnt orange in both end zones, which should address a common complaint from fans that the burnt orange was too light. A different font in the end zones represents a subtle change, but it looks like the school discarded a more significant alteration — Texas experimented with a dark background of the state of Texas behind the logo at midway. Unless there’s a late change, it looks like the Longhorns have opted against that idea.
Additionally, the end zones are now surrounded by a burnt orange border that stretches up to the 20-yard lines instead of a white border around the entire field.
Along with the new coaching staff on the Forty Acres, the new turf represents a significant change for Texas after one of the most unsuccessful eras in school history. Since the outgoing FieldTurf replaced natural grass following the 2009 season, the Horns went 78-60 (.565), failed to win a Big 12 title, and underwent three coaching changes. Since that time, Texas has had 11 play callers on offense and seven play callers on defense.
Of course, the turf didn’t have anything to do with that instability and those systemic failures, but just like the coaching staff marks a new era, the new turf marks a new chapter in the stadium after all those losses on that field.
Athletics director Chris Del Conte said, “Not so fast my friend” regarding the state of Texas behind the logo at midfield.
It’s so subtle that it’s imperceptible in low-light conditions like this afternoon, but stay tuned for a better look when the sun comes out again.