There was a time when Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz would have lobbied to keep natural grass in Kinnick Stadium but he says new technology and drainage issues make the move to an artificial surface a good one.

The Iowa Board of Regents this week gave U of I officials the green light to replace the grass after drainage problems redeveloped.

Ferentz says the new synthetic surface is much better than the artificial turf that was used during the 1970’s and 80’s. He says changing the surface would have been a big deal 10 years ago, and says he had never been on this surface until a few years ago when the practiced on one at a bowl game.

Ferentz says it’s a whole different situation and a lot of teams have made the switch now for good reasons. Ferentz says drainage issues made it increasingly difficult to keep the grass surface playable. He says it’s ironic that the fields were in their best shape ever, and then they got so much rain that it made them a mess during the Iowa State game.

Ferentz says it makes a lot of sense now to switch to the synthetic turf and it should not be a big factor. The cost of the project is just over two-million dollars.