The Daily Universe

BYU baseball getting artificial grass field

Workers tear up the baseball field at Miller Park in preparation for the new artificial turf. The field will also have a heater underneath it. (Dani Jardine)

BYU baseball is in the process of getting a new, artificial grass field to replace the current field at Miller Park that has been used since the 1960s.

“It was definitely a need,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Brian Santiago. “The decision was made to do an artificial surface rather than natural grass so that it would wear better through the winter months.”

With the improved drainage capabilities that the turf offers, the field will be more level than it currently is.

The new field will also have a heater underneath it to help melt snow during the early months of the season.

Santiago added that this change will allow the team to use the field for two-to-three months longer than currently possible.

This past season, BYU played its first ten games on the road before the home opener on March 9.

Workers tear apart Miller Park field in preparation for the heated, artificial turf field. (Dani Jardine)

Other college baseball programs that deal with heavy rains or harsh winters, such as the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 seed Oregon State, have turned to artificial turf fields to prevent the damage that inclement weather causes to natural grass fields.

BYU will join Portland and San Francisco as the only schools in the West Coast Conference that play on artificial turf.

In the state, BYU will be the only school with an artificial surface. The University of Utah and UVU both play on natural grass at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City and Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem.

The new field is scheduled to be completed in early September.

BYU baseball has played at the site of Miller Park for over 50 years. The stadium opened in April 2001 and seats 2,204 for baseball and 2,100 for softball.