Artificial turf field coming for the 2021 athletic season

Lees-McRae President Lee King and Vice President for Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail announced on Friday, Aug. 21 that Tate Field, home to the men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer programs, will be converted to an artificial playing surface with the installation of FieldTurf’s Vertex turf. The construction is set to begin in September and will be completed by the end of the year.  

“Today’s announcement addresses a priority that further elevates our institution and places us at the mountaintop for excellence in intercollegiate athletics,” said King. “Despite these challenging times, Lees-McRae is constantly looking to the future and building for tomorrow. I’m proud of what this means for our students, our coaches, our fans, and our community.”

While the college proudly calls the mountains home, the combination of a grass field and unpredictable weather has challenged countless number of student-athletes over the years. The new turf field will create a sustainable playing surface that will be free of any of these prior difficulties.

“I’m so excited for our student-athletes and coaches to be able to utilize this field to enhance their experience at Lees-McRae,” said McPhail. “This marks the continued evolution of the Fred I. Dickerson Athletic Complex. We have dreamed about this and it feels especially good to be a Bobcat today!”

For current athletes, news of this field enhancement could not have come at a better time. With the recent announcement by Conference Carolinas to postpone fall sports competition until the spring of 2021, the four Bobcat teams who share Tate Field will benefit from the new playing surface soon after its completion.

“FieldTurf is honored and excited to partner with Lees-McRae College on such a wonderful project. Our joint goal with this new playing field is to contribute to the progression of the Bobcat soccer and lacrosse programs by providing their student-athletes with a high performing and safe surface to practice and play on,” said FieldTurf Regional Vice President Jim Shanahan.

With over 6,500 installations in North America alone, FieldTurf is a world-renowned artificial turf installer. In addition to guaranteeing unmatched quality and level of performance, FieldTurf is using cutting-edge CAD-based design capabilities to develop a look and feel that is unique to Lees-McRae College. The company will install a Vertex 2.25” turf at Tate Field that is a hybrid of monofilament and slit-film fibers to maximize performance.  

For more information on Lees-McRae Athletics, follow the Bobcats on Twitter (@LMCBobcats), Facebook (Lees-McRae Athletics) and on Instagram (leesmcraeathletics).


We surprised the lacrosse and soccer teams with an announcement of a new turf field. Check out their reactions!

By Patrick SmithAugust 21, 2020