Krenzler Field, the home of Viking soccer for two decades, reopens this fall after undergoing a $2.9 million renovation that has transformed it from just a soccer field to a year-round multi-use sports complex.
The renovations consisted of two major improvements, each of which has dramatically improved the athletic physical plant for all CSU sports. The natural grass playing surface was removed in favor of a state-of-the-art FieldTurf artificial field.
The second change won't be visible until November when a removable air-supported dome is placed over the field, creating an indoor practice facility for all sports for the winter months.
The addition of FieldTurf was made necessary when the women's soccer was added at CSU, increasing the usage of the field to the point where it would be impossible to maintain the natural grass surface.
FieldTurf, a revolutionary playing surface that combines the properties of natural grass with the durability of artificial turf, has been installed on almost 1,000 playing surfaces in 20 countries around the world. It is currently in use in over half of the National Football League stadiums and by almost 50 NCAA Division I institutions. It has been approved for play by FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, with some of the top professional teams around the world currently practicing and playing on it.
The removable dome, a product of Yeadon Domes, covers the entire length of Krenzler Field, approximately 94,000 square feet, with a 60-foot ceiling. It is made of a heavy duty vinyl coated flame resistant polyester architectural fabric.
The Krenzler Dome is a welcome addition, especially since the Intramural Sports Center, the only other indoor practice facility on campus, was demolished in the winter of 2005 to make way for the new Student Recreation Center.
The dome will benefit more than just soccer.
The baseball and softball teams will be able to hold preseason practices in the facility each winter with the space being large enough to set up a regulation softball field.
The size of the field also makes it possible to set up an indoor driving range for the golf teams or batting cages and pitchers mounds for both baseball and softball.
The renovation of Krenzler is the first step in the construction of CSU's Varsity Village, a concentration of university athletic facilities interwoven with new residential living spaces between E. 19th and E. 24th streets along the northern edge of campus. Future plans call for the addition of an on-campus baseball field, the relocation of Viking Field, the home of CSU softball, and the reconfiguring of the Malaga Tennis Center.
Built at an original cost of $1.9 million, Krenzler Field became the first university outdoor athletic venue when it was dedicated on October 18, 1985.
Designed and built specifically for varsity soccer, the field is nestled at the northwest corner of the campus against a background of downtown skyscrapers. The complex includes permanent seating for 1,680 and an electric scoreboard and clock, plus a field building housing two 36-person team locker rooms, a referee locker room, a training room, a storage room and public restroom facilities. The lighting system provides 50 footcandles of illumination.
The facility is named in honor of Judge Alvin I. Krenzler, a long-time supporter of the university. Krenzler served on the CSU Board of Trustees from July 1967 until August 1970, leaving the board when he became judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals. He retired as judge of the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio in 1992.
It was Krenzler's generous contribution - which at the time was the largest single gift ever made to CSU athletics - that made completion of the facility possible.