Plans take shape for Scheels-funded field

by Tomi Thompson

thompsonto@mnstate.edu

Progress is being made on the new outdoor field at MSUM, and the athletic department is fired up for the design process to kick off.

In his weekly web segment “Doug’s Desk” for Dragon Athletics, MSUM Athletic Director Doug Peters announced Field Turf was selected as the turf vendor for Scheels Field.

“We always want to promote our partner because we’re excited to be associated with a great provider like Field Turf,” Peters said.

Peters says the next step is to continue working on the field’s design.

“Obviously, with artificial turf, you can do a lot of different things,” Peters said, “You can do different colors, different schematics on it, and it’s been a fun time for me.”

With red, black or traditional green being pondered as potential turf colors, MSUM’s athletic department is seeking input on what they think Scheels field should look like and have set up a web page for idea sharing.

Peters said people can submit their design thoughts by going to msumdragons.com/scheelsfield.

Through his avid use of social media, Peters has reached out to Dragon supporters about their visions for the field.

“I’ve put it out there on social media, trying to gather input from our fans, from our players and from our students, and I’ve gotten quite a bit of different feedback just about different ideas of what the field should look like,” he said.

For Peters, the most exciting part about partnering with Scheels is having the opportunity to work with a respected company.

“It’s having an organization like Scheels, who is very successful, very well thought of because of their business savvy, their ethics, their integrity and how they do business, invest with us and partner with us,” Peters said. “That really feels good that they believe in what we’re doing and are willing to put their name on something that a lot of people are going to see and be associated with us.”

Peters said another highlight of Scheels Field is bringing something new to campus multiple groups could benefit from. Dragon athletics, intramural sports and club sports could all have the opportunity to use the field.

“It will really bring a point of pride to our campus,” Peters said.

The field’s final design will be revealed Apr. 25 as part of the Dragons Spring Thaw Event. Following the Dragons spring football game, Scheels CEO Steve Scheel and the Moorhead Chamber of Commerce will participate in the ceremonial ground breaking.

The first official Dragon football game to be played on Scheels Field will be a night game Thursday, Sept. 3 against the Winona State Warriors.

Peters hopes the field’s first game will be an event all Dragons will enjoy.

“Right now, we’re working to pull together all the pomp and circumstance and really have a celebration and a party around the unveiling of the turf and the first football game on it.”

For the student athletes, Peters believes the field will bring a new level of confidence to the athletic programs.

“I think for them it just builds the added confidence in from people being willing to invest in them and believing that they can do what they themselves can believe,” Peters said.

Funding for Scheels Field was raised during Laps for the Long Run this fall. Scheel pledged $20,000 per lap up to 50 laps that President Anne Blackhurst ran during the event.

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