Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Recreational Sports finishes Elbel Field improvements

As part of ongoing renovations to recreation facilities across campus, the Department of Recreational Sports recently completed a project to significantly upgrade Elbel Field.

The pre-existing asphalt parking lot and marching band practice area has been replaced with a field turf similar to the material used in Michigan Stadium. The rest of the natural grass field was top dressed, aerated and seeded. Additionally, the fencing around the entire field complex was replaced with an iron fence similar to that used throughout the university's athletic campus.

The move follows numerous upgrades made at the three recreational buildings on campus last year, which have included replacing outdated exercise machines, installing televisions in cardiovascular workout areas and upgrades to locker rooms.

"It has been well documented that our facilities and equipment need updating," says William Canning, recreational sports director. "The improvements this summer are a step in achieving that goal."

A dedication ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the field. Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper will speak at the event, as will Michigan Marching Band Drum Major Jeff McMahon and Club Sports Council President Jessica Craft.

After the short ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests will be invited onto the newly resurfaced field and will be able to participate in several games and activities with members of various club sports teams and the Michigan Marching Band.

"We want to encourage the campus community to join us in our celebration," Canning says.

Elbel Field is used by a wide range of groups on campus, including the Michigan Marching Band, Recreational Sports intramural teams and Club Sports, in several formal and informal ways.

"Michigan's academic calendar and our unpredictable weather precludes the use of natural grass fields in late fall or for the entire winter term," Canning says. "With the new synthetic turf recreational sport student athletes will have access to a quality, safe field almost year round."

Elbel Field is named after Louis Elbel, the university music student who crafted the music and lyrics to "The Victors" in 1898. He wrote the song on a train ride back to Ann Arbor after Michigan won a close victory over rival Chicago, 12-11.