The independent news organization of Duke University

Sod placement starts at Wallace Wade Stadium, LED lighting coming in 2016

A three-day process to install new sod on the playing surface at Wallace Wade Stadium began Wednesday.
A three-day process to install new sod on the playing surface at Wallace Wade Stadium began Wednesday.

With less than two months remaining before the Blue Devils take the field in their newly refurbished Wallace Wade Stadium, their home turf is beginning to take shape.

The three-day process of sod placement for the playing field began Wednesday morning when a mixture of sod, gravel and sand was applied on the field. A total of 376 tractor trailer trucks were needed to transport the necessary materials that will cover the field.

The new playing surface is a synthetic grass named Latitude 36 Bermudagrass, which has been growing for more than a year at the Precision Turf farm in Braselton, Ga. It is the same surface used at home venues of the Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Duke will play its first game in the renovated stadium Sept. 12 in its home opener against N.C. Central. A picture of the work in progress was posted on the team's Twitter account, celebrating another step in the renovations that began in November.

The photo highlights some of the other modifications Blue Devil fans will be treated to when the season kicks off—including the removal of the running track along the outskirts of the playing field. Extra rows of seating were added to bring fans closer to the action as well as a brand new, 3,175 square-foot video board to enhance their visual experience.

Duke also announced Thursday that high-performance LED lights will be used at Wallace Wade Stadium starting in 2016. The lights will be provided by Ephesus Lighting—the same company that installed LED lights at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium for Duke women's field hockey.

The new LED lighting will provide more illumination than the previous system while reducing energy consumption by 40 percent. The Ephesus Lighting solution has already been used in numerous professional and college sports venues around the country.