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Turf’s Down It’s Time to Play – Athletic Complexes with Turf on the Rise

Sean Cullen

Working for all of Wisconsin’s professional sports teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Admirals, as well as for collegiate teams such as the Wisconsin Badgers, has taught us a few things about athletic facilities over the years. Like the thought that turf was only for professional sports or, at the very least, collegiate. These days turf has been very popular within high school indoor and outdoor athletic facilities. Although popular in southern states, this just started as a trend in the Midwest less than ten years ago. Right around that time, we built the first indoor turf facility of its kind in Wisconsin for the Hamilton School District.

Hamilton School District Indoor Training Facility

Due to student athletic participation increasing by 33% and the addition of six levels of sports in the past decade, Hamilton’s practice and training space were at a premium.

The District built a 40,000 sqft multi-purpose indoor athletic training facility to accommodate the need for additional space designed by Plunkett Raysich Architects. It included an 8,000 sqft weight room, athletic trainers’ space, and an area covered in 60 yards of turf that could be used for virtually any sport. The new facility allowed the high school weight room to be relocated with additional space for indoor athletic practices and training.

I think back to my high school days and would have dreamed of having a facility like this for my fellow Janesville Craig Cougars! It’s incredible how far high school sports have come!

Since we were talking athletics and turf, I would be remiss if I did not share an update on the Camp Randall project where we just laid turf – the third time we’ve managed this process for the Badgers in the past 20 years. Including a timelapse video, because who doesn’t like to see turf installed in just over a minute?

Camp Randall Turf Replacement JP Cullen Project

Camp Randall South End Zone Renovation and Turf Replacement

The next chapter of Camp Randall is currently under construction. This comprehensive renovation of the south end zone will introduce new premium seating and hospitality clubs to one of the oldest stadiums in the country. The new space will open for the Fall 2022 football season.

We have been fortunate to have had a constant presence at Camp Randall Stadium since 2002 with the first major renovation project – a three-year, $84 million project with 96,000 sqft of additions and 56,000 sqft of remodeling. In 2012, we led the Student-Athlete Performance Center project, a multi-story, 32,000 sqft facility to house programs for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

During all of these projects, a collaborative approach was critical in creating ways to safely work around an active construction site, with crowds of 80,000+ fans filling the stadium on game day or, most recently, holding the 2022 Spring Commencement in the stadium during construction.

The South End Zone project is quickly progressing as we have a tight deadline to meet in time for Spring Training for the 2022 football season. But we are on track as the turf installation just wrapped up. Take a look at what that process looks like in this timelapse video and the below images of the talented tradespeople getting it just right for our beloved Badgers!

  JP Cullen Camp Randall Turf Install   

Our goal as a construction manager is to use our expertise in the athletics and sports market to deliver the vision for your project and support your team’s goals. Do you have an upcoming athletics project? Send me an email at to discuss your project. You can also check out more education athletic projects here.

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July 17, 2024