How Pearl Jam Saved the Montana Grizzly Soccer Field
When opposing coaches start threatening to not bring their teams to play on your field, things must be pretty serious.
That was one of many dilemmas facing the University of Montana soccer program and its dilapidated South Campus Stadium playing surface. But there wasn't $180,000 dollars lying around for a first-class upgrade.
Enter Pearl Jam.
The lasting impact of the Pearl Jam concert at a sold-out Washington-Grizzly Stadium last August is being felt in perhaps an unexpected way. The Griz Soccer stadium playing surface is getting a total makeover. And the cost of the project is being paid almost entirely out of the money made by the UM Department of Athletics for its role in hosting the concert.
The field has endured about 23 years of wear and tear. The surface was uneven. The grass could only be cut to certain lengths. Sections were soggy, yet right next to areas that were hard and dry. More and more, Montana was being put at a competitive disadvantage. That will change, as the installation of Desert Green Turf is underway. The company is based in Moses Lake, Washington. Their resume includes the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium and soccer's Seattle Sounders.
Congrats to the Griz, and thank you, Pearl Jam, for your huge "kickback." Also thanks to Joel Carlson in UM Sports Information for the update.