by Cody Elmore
Posted 6/15/2011 12:30 pm
Updated 4 years ago
UCA is getting plenty of press coverage for its unique new field at Estes Stadium.
Some good. Some, well, not so good.
Sports Illustrated joins the ranks of media commenting on the purple and gray turf. Each month the magazine features a quirky sidebar by the name of “The Strike Zone” in which it analyzes the relevancy of sports news stories from across the nation.
Central Arkansas’ new $750,000 field — completed last week — is featured in the June 13 publication, but not in a good way. Complete with a thumbnail photo of the field, on the right corner of the strike plate and to the left of Zenyatta, the small excerpt reads:
“You’ve heard of Boise State’s Smurf Turf. Central Arkansas just installed Barf Turf.”
This dig on the new field shouldn’t surprise anyone. After the Bears announced their plans on, of all days April 1, a whirlwind of press coverage swirled around the legitimacy of Estes Stadium’s, we’ll say, "updated" look. Upon realizing the turf wasn’t a practical gag gone awry, social media outlets spanning from local newspapers to the Yahoo! newsfeed pounced on the opportunity to give their take, sparking a wildfire of public interest.
As of June 13, the total number of comments nears 1,000 on the Yahoo-sponsored Dr. Saturday blog.
Here are some comments from the blog’s readers:
“Why is the field this gaudy color? Guess what game I won’t be watching.”
“I think it looks kinda’ cool.”
“Are their uniforms purple too? It’ll be like ‘where’d he go, oh there he is.’”
“What next, Easter egg colored footballs?"
“This doesn’t look that bad, it’s not an eyesore like Boise’s.”
“I think they need to recruit a squad of 42 year old cheerleaders too. Like the Bengals!”
UCA has seen its field discussed on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn and College Football Live. ESPN’s Sports Nation Facebook page includes discussion about the turf.
Other outlets to mention the Estes Stadium playing surface:
However you look at it, whether it’s a bash or a boost, this field is generating more buzz than Central Arkansas would have garnered otherwise. No matter the verdict on the turf’s aesthetic value, it’ll draw a few curious football fans that might not otherwise have been interested in the Bears.