AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 13, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The famed football home of the University of Texas Longhorns is returning to artificial turf ... and FieldTurf is the Longhorns' choice. FieldTurf will be installed at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in time for the 2009 college football season.

The prep work for the FieldTurf installation will begin in April with the actual FieldTurf slated to be put in place in June. The new FieldTurf at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will get its official debut on September 5 when Texas hosts Louisiana-Monroe in the 2009 season-opener.

The FieldTurf installation marks a return to synthetic turf for the Longhorns after playing on natural grass from 1996-2008. Texas did play on a variety of artificial surfaces at then-Memorial Stadium from 1969-95. Prior to that, UT played its home games on grass from 1925-68.

Texas becomes the fifth member of the Big 12 to install FieldTurf in its home football stadium, joining Nebraska, Kansas State, Missouri and Texas Tech. Additionally, Kansas and Texas A&M have FieldTurf at their practice facility.

"We did research to determine what would be the best artificial turf product for the University of Texas football program," said UT Associate Athletic Director/Events and Operations Jim Baker. "We talked to a lot of Division I programs that have FieldTurf in their football stadium, and they all gave us glowing reviews. Plus, FieldTurf has more fields out there than anyone else at both the collegiate and NFL levels. We had FieldTurf installed last year in our baseball stadium (UFCU Disch-Falk Field), and both the players and coaches have raved about the surface. Installing FieldTurf is just a good fit for us."

"There is no question that the University of Texas represents one of the most prestigious programs in the annals of college football," said FieldTurf CEO Joe Fields. "It is an honor for FieldTurf to be associated with the Texas Longhorns, and it is a compliment of the highest order for our product to be selected for installation at one of the nation's venerable college football stadiums. We are delighted to initiate this association with UT, and we are supremely confident that their faith in FieldTurf will be well served. FieldTurf will provide Coach Brown and his players with a state-of-the-art playing surface that uses cutting-edge technology for the highest levels of both playability and safety."

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is one of the finest college football facilities in the nation. It has a current capacity of more than 96,000 which includes three club areas and 113 suites. The stadium famously boasts the nation's largest high-definition video display board. Since the stadium's opening, UT has posted a 338-91-10 record there.

More than 50 top NCAA universities currently play their home games on FieldTurf. In addition to the Big 12 schools already cited, others with FieldTurf include Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Boston College, Rutgers, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Louisville. Twenty-one of the NFL's 32 teams presently utilize FieldTurf in their stadiums and/or practice facilities. In addition, MLB's Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays have FieldTurf at their respective stadiums.

The NFL Players Association released their bi-annual ranking of NFL stadium fields during a January 29 press conference in Tampa prior to the Super Bowl. Once again, the results tabbed FieldTurf as the runaway leader among all artificial turf brands. In data gathered from polling/voting of over 1500 NFL players, 40% of the league's Top Ten surfaces were FieldTurf fields. In addition, four of the top five and eight of the top ten artificial turf fields in the league are FieldTurf, according to that NFLPA data.

FieldTurf Tarkett, a Division of the Tarkett Group, is the largest entity in the sports surfacing industry and offers unparalleled leasing capabilities, engineering, manufacturing resources, and environmental standards. In addition to its world-renowned FieldTurf and Prestige brands of artificial turf, FieldTurf Tarkett provides an equally impressive range of sports flooring products that includes synthetic and hardwood basketball, volleyball and gymnasium flooring, squash and racquetball courts, floor protection and covering systems, and weight room flooring. Also in the range of FieldTurf Tarkett products are high performance indoor and outdoor running tracks including the Beynon track surfaces, playground surfacing, commercial and residential landscaping, and a complete range of tennis and golf surfaces. All of FieldTurf Tarkett's surfaces are developed, produced and installed with a concentration on sustainability and a commitment to protecting the environment. The company calls it 'Environmental Intelligence' and lives by this principle in every way. For more information on FieldTurf, please visit .

FieldTurf Tarkett
Jason Smollett