Athletic Fields Repair and Improvement

January 2014


The UAlbany Athletics and Recreation Master Plan, developed in 2004, provided a design and planning framework for the University to implement repairs and upgrades to the University’s athletic and recreational facilities over the next 10 to 15 years. This plan generally defined site and building improvements and identified new and upgraded athletic and recreation facilities within the existing campus fabric. In 2009, with this plan as the framework, the University studied several concepts and phasing options to address high priority near-term repair and upgrade needs to its track and football facilities, which are co-located and in serious disrepair. The project herein is the result of this additional analysis.


This project involves the design of a new phased, separate multi-purpose turf field facility, a separate recreational turf field, and repair and improvement to the existing track and field facility at the University to address long-standing repairs and facility deficiencies. These facilities are currently hampered by poor/inadequate conditions and inability to meet selected NCAA standards. Indeed, conditions are so poor, the varsity track team cannot hold competitions on University facilities. The three components of this project are interrelated with respect to construction phasing, timing of campus operational and field-use needs, and project staging. They include:

  1. Track Repairs and Upgrades — A repaired and upgraded track and field venue will include a 9-lane synthetic surface track with 9-lane sprint straights at 48 inch widths. Associated throwing events will occur within the oval on a natural turf surface with repaired and upgraded lighting. Provisions for scoring, timing, equipment and meet management systems are included. The track will be located in its current site on the Uptown Campus and when not in use for competitions, will be available for casual and recreational use.
  2. Recreational Turf Field — While a co-located recreational turf field ‐ within the oval of the track or on the site of the multi-use athletic facility ‐ was considered, such an arrangement would not be viable given the need for track/field events to have natural surfaces and given the need to provide extended season priority use for student recreational, intramural, and club sport activities. The Uptown Campus is essentially an urban campus and has few open, well-graded fields for such recreation. Accordingly, a synthetic turf field with new field lighting and fencing will be constructed east of the tennis courts, south of Dutch Quad for extended season use.
  3. Multi-Use Athletics Facility — Varsity football will be relocated to a new multi-purpose facility to be located south of the Bubble, east of the SEFCU Arena. Once relocated, the track work can proceed. The modest facility is intended to provide seating for approximately 6,000 spectators. It will include a synthetic turf field that can accommodate both football and soccer and can hold other community and University events. The facility will also include other code- and competition-required features, such as a press booth, toilets and concessions, lighting, and audio-visual components. All components of the facility will be ADA compliant unlike the existing facilities. The multi-use athletic facility will be constructed to be expandable at some unknown time in the future without necessitating demolition of components constructed at this time.

Project Timeline: Start: April 2012
Estimated Completion for all venues: Spring 2014

Project Progress as of January 22, 2014:

The multi-use athletic facility reached substantial completion on September 11, 2013 just a few days before the Danes inaugural game against Rhode Island as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The 8,000 seat facility includes a distinctive press level with four suites, a spacious lounge area for events or meetings, radio and television broadcast operation facilities, coach’s spaces and areas for game-day support operations.

The concourse level includes two concession areas, a team merchandise area, and spectator support facilities. A high-definition Daktronics scoreboard with 39’x22’ high-definition video display and point-source sound system is located behind the south end zone.

The playing surface is FieldTurf, a synthetic turf material with a rubber/sand infill. There are two shades of green for the turf, each alternating every five yards to each end zone. All field markings including end zones, yardage markers and midfield graphics are integrated within the turf. New site work in and around the facility include new concrete and asphalt walkways, site lighting, lawn areas with irrigation reconfigured parking with better handicap accessibility, broadcast truck parking, and drop-off areas.

The new Track & Field venue at the former University Field is nearing final completion. Grading and asphalt track sub-base was completed along with all site work including retaining walls, drainage and retention basins, natural turf infield w/irrigation, and fencing at the venue. However, unfavorable weather conditions slowed the installation of the new synthetic surfacing material due to the need to maintain minimum air temperatures for placement of the two-part track surface. Because of the delay, only the installation of the track material was completed before winter conditions prevailed. The final step for completion is the striping of the surface which requires moderate temperatures and dry conditions for several consecutive days to allow for the coating system to properly adhere to the track surface. It is anticipated that this work will take place before April 01, 2014. Once complete, the venue will be ready for use.

The nearby hammer throw facility south of the existing softball field was completed in fall 2013.

The Rec Field Turf was completed in summer 2013 and has been available for University use. The sports lighting system was activated in the fall and programmed for use by UAlbany's Campus Recreation office.

Project Design Renderings:

(Click the picture for a printable version.)

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    Project Site Plan

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    Conceptual View - Rendering of Multi-Use Athletic Facility

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    Conceptual Exterior Perspective View - Southeast

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    Conceptual Exterior Perspective View - Southwest

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    Conceptual View - UAlbany Track

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    Start Construction Fencing

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    Retention Pond Area

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    Recreation Field Turf

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    Elevator Foundation

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    Seating Bowl Wall

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    Lower Seating Bowl & Berm Walls

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    Work on the Foundations

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    West Foundations

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    Structural Steel Assembly At South Tower

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    Worker Assembles Steel Connections

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    Concrete Pour At Foundation Walls

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    Concourse Level Looking North

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    Lower Seating Bowl From Field Level

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    Backfilling Below Seating Structure

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    Drilling Field Wall for Electrical Conduits

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    North Field Wall At Players Run

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    Press Structure Roofing Underway

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    View From The Press Level

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    Workers Complete Concourse Level Walls

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    Press Level Lounge On West Side

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    Stadium View From Mid Field

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    Upper Press Level

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    Interior Partitions Underway

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    Start of Turf At North End Zone

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    View From Dutch Quad Tower

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    View From Indian Quad Tower

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    Completed Field Turf

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    Logo at Midfield

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    Completed Field From Press Level (Panorama)

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    Stadium With Upper Deck Seating

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    Scoreboard Under Construction

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    Stadium Venue From Visitor Side

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    Scoreboard From Entrance Drive

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    North Berm Seating Area

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    Track & Field Venue From Dutch

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    Sitework With Retaining Wall

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    Completed Retaining Wall

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    Infrastructure At Track

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    Grading And Curbing At Track Infield

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    South Tower & Bridge To Press Level

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    Mens Toilet Facility

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    Concession Ready For Game Day

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    Testing Sports Lighting System

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    Completed Facility From State Quad Tower

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    Track Final Surfacing Underway

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