LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech announced Thursday it has begun the process of upgrading the playing surface at the John Walker Soccer Complex, removing the previous artificial product and replacing it with a natural grass field.

The move to natural grass aligns with the vast majority of competition fields throughout the Big 12 Conference and peer power-five leagues. Construction on the roughly $1 million project began in late May and will be completed by the Red Raiders’ season opener in August. The project is part of the final stages of the highly-successful Campaign for Fearless Champions and will be funded exclusively through philanthropic giving and athletics department revenue.

“This has been an important project for Coach Stone and our soccer program,” Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. “The move to a natural grass field has been a common transition for many of our peers across the country recently. We can’t thank our supporters who have already contributed to this project as we strive to provide the best collegiate experience possible for our student-athletes.”

Texas Tech had previously utilized an artificial turf since the John Walker Soccer Complex opened for its first match in 2008. Since then, the complex has become the go-to spot for a soccer match, giving the Red Raiders a tremendous homefield advantage as Texas Tech celebrated its 100th win all-time at the facility during the 2022 campaign.

In addition, the project continues Texas Tech’s investment into its soccer program as the Red Raiders will boast a new natural grass surface that compliments the Gerald Myers Indoor Soccer Facility that opened in 2012 as well as the adjacent team facility that opened in 2009.

“We are thrilled to have been able to make this transition to a state-of-the-art grass game field,” Stone said. “Texas Tech Athletics and Kirby Hocutt have always been supportive of initiatives that will enhance the Red Raider student-athlete’s overall experience and ability to compete at the highest levels. We are thankful for the continued commitment to women’s soccer and to all those whose generosity made this a reality.”

The Red Raiders will make their debut on the new grass surface Aug. 20 when Texas Tech kicks off the 2023 season against New Mexico State. The full 2023 schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.


Release provided by Hanna Cooper Texas Tech Athletics

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