EUREKA, Ill. – Preliminary work began Monday for the installation of an artificial playing surface and a full lighting system at Pete FioRito Stadium at McKinzie Field on the campus of Eureka College. The major renovation is scheduled to be completed in time for the Red Devils' 2017 football opener versus Knox on Sept. 2.
The full renovation is expected to last between eight and 10 weeks. The surface will be FieldTurf. The lighting system will allow the Red Devils to play night games at home for the first time in the 126-year history of the program. EC's non-conference matchup with Knox in the sixth annual Abraham Lincoln Bowl on Sept. 2 is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
In conjunction with the renovation for the Eureka football program, the Eureka men's and women's soccer programs will play select matches at McKinzie Field beginning in 2017. The soccer programs will also continue to utilize the natural-grass pitch at Traister Field.
The renovation will make Eureka College the first Upper Midwest Athletic Conference South Division institution to have an artificial surface. Additionally, Eureka will become the first St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member to have an on-campus soccer facility available on campus with an artificial surface.
The facility will be available year-round for game competition and other outdoor events for Eureka College and the city of Eureka. The turf will also provide a weather-resistant practice surface for all outdoor EC sports, including baseball and softball.
McKinzie Field has played host to 348 regular-season Eureka football games since opening on Oct. 18, 1930. The Red Devils have recorded 18 home wins under current head coach Kurt Barth, including a 4-1 home record in 2016.
Individuals, groups or businesses interested in contributing donations to the renovation are encouraged to contact Eureka College Director of Athletics Steve Thompson at (309) 467-6370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.