Madison Schools’ first artificial turf field expects to debut later this season

The first synthetic sports field in Madison Schools’ history – though delayed for use so far during the fall sports season - is getting closer to becoming a reality for late-season games this year.

School officials said the field, which is being paid for in part by an NFL grant, is currently on schedule to be completed in time for Madison’s homecoming football game in about a month.

Originally scheduled to be unveiled for boys and girls prep sports on Sept. 10, the field was delayed by a shortage of urethane, which stemmed from coronavirus-related manufacturing problems and the unusually harsh winter at the Texas location of the supplier.

In July, Madison sports officials began to reschedule games and make other arrangements to play previously planned home games in alternative sites in the area.

But Jeff Staggs, superintendent of Madison Schools, said the company installing the artificial turf, MOTZ Group, is promising the field will be completed by Oct. 1.

“Oct. 8 is the district’s football homecoming game. We are thrilled that the homecoming game will be the first event on the new turf,” said Staggs. “The athletic department has moved other events to the end of their prospective seasons to allow for those athletes to use the new field.”

Madison was one of two public school districts in Butler County to not have synthetic turf. The New Miami district, which has the smallest enrollment in southwest Ohio, still plays on a natural grass field.

Some Butler County school districts are on their second generation of turf fields, which in general last 10-12 years.

Earlier this year Madison officials heralded a $133,000 NFL grant for putting the school community fundraising to its goal of paying for the field.

The approximately $1 million field has been actively sought by Madison since the high school’s historic run deep into the state football playoffs in 2017.

Staggs credited the Madison Schools families, residents and area businesses for helping pay for the new field.

“The district wants to thank everyone who has graciously donated and pledged to donate to this project. This has been a total community endeavor,” he said.

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