Football Turf Project

Gift Amount
Football Turf Project

Total Raised

$1.6 million
$1.7 million

Give Now
We appreciate your support! Go Norse!

Luther College’s Carlson Stadium is getting a major upgrade this summer with the installation of a top-of-the-line synthetic turf and pad system by  AstroTurf.

Legacy Field, as it will be named within Carlson Stadium, will have the distinction of being the only blue turf field among NCAA Division III colleges and universities in  the United States. Boise State University, a Division I athletic program, has a registered trademark on their iconic blue artificial turf field in Albertsons Stadium and Boise State officials have given permission for Luther to install blue turf on Legacy Field.

Luther’s Carlson Stadium had the only remaining natural grass football field in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Given the deteriorating condition of the existing grass field, this turf project is a top institutional priority within Luther’s athletic facilities complex. Synthetic turf provides a consistent surface across the whole field and throughout the year in any weather conditions.

Aligning with Luther’s campus sustainability goals, the new turf will reduce water usage, eliminate the need for fertilizer or pesticides, and trim maintenance costs. All aspects of the new field system including the turf, pad, and infill components are fully reusable at the end of their life cycle. The AstroTurf field will include an encapsulated infill of Nike Grind, a premium recycled material created from original Nike materials and products.

“We are very excited to enhance our student-athletes’ experience at Luther College. AstroTurf’s product and pad systems are among the best available for keeping our players safe. Having Luther blue will be unique among Midwest colleges and provide a visible way to promote our football program, athletic department and Luther College. The overall sense we get from our alumni athletes is excitement and pride in the promotion of our school colors, while creating a safe environment for our student-athletes. Our current players couldn’t be more excited.” —Aaron Hafner, Luther head football coach

The Luther College Board of Regents approved this $1.7 million project in May 2017. The turf project is being funded by a group of generous donors who have made leadership-level gifts. A lead gift of $800,000 from Dennis and Suzanne Birkestrand of Las Vegas, Nevada, accelerated the project. Dennis Birkestrand, a 1964 Luther graduate, played football for the Norse.

Legacy Field was dedicated on Saturday, September 9, before the home opener against St. Olaf.

Leading the Way

The new turf won’t just bring Carlson Stadium to par with other fields in the Iowa Conference; it will surpass them in quality and safety, according to Luther Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Renae Hartl. “The safety of student-athletes is a top priority, and AstroTurf is an industry leader when it comes to safety, performance and durability for their turf and pad systems,” Hartl said. The college is installing a first-class system that features an AstroTurf 3D synthetic turf with Nike Grind infill and a Brock pad, creating the best possible field of play.

Brock engineers each shock-absorbing pad solution specifically to reduce the impact force, protecting players and lessening injuries. Adding a pad to the full turf system delivers shock reduction that is consistent and predictable, making it one of the safest fields on the market. Luther’s field will be the only one in Iowa to include a Brock pad.

RDG Planning and Design and Opus Design Build, both in Des Moines, Iowa, are collaborating with Luther on the turf project.

Recognition Levels

Luther College invites all alumni and friends to support this project. Gifts and pledges of all sizes are appreciated; leadership gifts of $10,000 or more will be included on the future donor recognition wall. Multiyear pledges may be fulfilled over three years. The college respectfully invites your initial payment to be completed before December 31, 2017. For more information, contact the Luther College Development Office at 563-387- 1862 or 800-225-8664.

  • $500,000 or more
  • $250,000–$499,999
  • $100,000–$249,999
  • $50,000–$99,999
  • $25,000–$49,999
  • $10,000–$24,999

Progress on the new turf installation can be followed online at the Valley Cam.