Cupples Stadium gets a $2 million facelift

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by Malik Vincent

The Pittsburgh Board of Education and the Department of Athletics’ George K. Cupples Stadium are in the midst of a $2 million project that will give the home of City League football and soccer a new look.

Among the changes are a replaced playing surface, new lights, as well as updated drainage and sub-drainage systems.

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ALMOST DONE—An overhead view of the $2 million renovation that is taking place at George K. Cupples Stadium, home of City League football and soccer July 27. The project is expected to conclude before the start of the 2010 football season on Sept. 3.

“It’s outstanding for the players,” said Pittsburgh Perry’s coach Bill Gallagher. “It will eliminate all of that astro-turf burn and other problems that were associated with that old surface we had before.”

The cost of the new state-of-the-art playing surface totals to be around $400,000. It is comparable to what is used in both the professional and collegiate ranks.

“This is the same surface that is going to be played on by the New Orleans Saints (and) the Indianapolis Colts,” said project manager Monty Tuckwiller of Turner Construction. “This same company will be working on the new indoor practice facility for the Minnesota Vikings. West Virginia University uses the same turf for its football stadium, as well.”

The City League plays roughly four games each weekend that are split up among its 10 schools. In the past, durability has been a concern for the turf that lies on the field, as well as the safety and prevention of serious injury for the players. It is thought that with the brand new surface, these matters can be laid to rest.

“I think it plays a lot safer and a lot faster,” said Tuckwiller. “The 10 high schools that call this place home are going to be very pleased with the results.’

“We’ve had an opportunity to play on it before,” said Gallagher. “It’s definitely feels better, that’s for sure. I believe we’ve had that same surface down there for the past 12 years. It was also really neat to be able to get rid of that hump that lays at mid-field (due to the installation of the new drainage).”

The project is set to conclude sometime before the City League kicks off its 2010 season Sept. 3 when Brashear takes on Knoch High School at 7:30 p.m.

“I’m excited about the fact that this can become a state-of–the-art facility,” said Gallagher. “They got the new lights. That’s definitely a bonus. All of the changes that they are making should increase the notoriety of the place and maximize its use.”

(See malikvincent@gmail.com.)

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