October 20, 2014


Boosters raise funds for Ely Stadium improvements

ELYRIA — When the Elyria Pioneers have a home game, they play at Ely Stadium.

The Friends of Ely Stadium group has started a campaign on the website indiegogo.com to raise funds for artificial turf for the stadium.

The Friends of Ely Stadium group has started a campaign on the website indiegogo.com to raise funds for artificial turf for the stadium.

It’s old, but well-maintained and stuck in the middle of a residential neighborhood on the city’s south side. While some would say it’s good enough, a couple of Elyria High School supporters want to see something better.

Using a fundraising technique that is picking up steam called crowdfunding on indiegogo.com, Doug Medvetz and Bob Dupont are trying to raise $200,000 toward a renovation project that could cost around $700,000.

Both envision a field of artificial turf, a resurfaced track and updated seating.

They have started a group, Friends of Ely Stadium, to handle the fundraising but know they will need the Elyria public to get on board.

“If everyone in Elyria or everyone interested could just donate $25, we could pay for the entire project,” said Medvetz, a 1999 alumnus. “This crowdfunding attempt is independent of Elyria Schools. We just want to do something for the kids as a community.”

Crowdfunding is where people put out a request online with the hope that multitudes of people will donate small amounts toward the cause.

Dupont said he was sparked by the idea to renovate the stadium after visiting Midview High School’s Ross Field in Adelsberg Stadium. He wouldn’t call his reaction “stadium envy,” but more as a challenge to Elyria to do the same thing for Elyria High students.

District spokeswoman Amy Higgins said the efforts of the group are exciting, but it will not stop the district from maintaining the 86-year-old stadium, which was built in 1927 on land donated by William Ely.

“The district really does continue to maintain that facility, but that being said, we always appreciate great partners,” she said. “This is not an Elyria Schools project, but the booster groups are great partners to the district, and we welcome all of their fundraising efforts.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

  • Dave

    Artificial turf is a bad idea. More injuries to young football players. Knee injuries. and concussions abound. Even the Arizona Cardinals domed stadium has natural grass which is left outdoors on a cookie sheet and brought in on game day.

  • Joe Sandor

    Now, I have heard it all – Stadium Envy. If you want to raise funds for better seats, improved concession stands, or nicer locker rooms, those are good projects for Boosters. But, artificial grass is terrible for young and still-growing bones and joints.

  • Honest

    “…studies have provided strong evidence for comparable rates of injury between new generation artificial turfs and natural turfs. An exception is the likely increased risk of ankle injury on third and fourth generation artificial turfs. Therefore, ankle injury prevention strategies must be a priority for athletes who play on artificial turf regularly.”
    Quoted from :
    A review of football injuries on third and fourth generation artificial turfs compared with natural turf. US National Library of Medicine.

    Please try to limit yourself to what you have some, or in this case, any imperical evidence to suport. The issue is too important to have misinformation floating around the subject.

    • Bob Dupont

      Print this article

      Artificial turf is a man-made playing surface intended to replicate or replace natural grass. Essentially it is “plastic grass” embedded in recycled rubber tires. It replaced the old “Astroturf” which was basically “carpet over concrete.” These new turfs and their technology make it possible forathletes to cut, plant and release just like they would on natural grass.

      Other People Are Reading

      Why Is Artificial Turf Better Than Natural Grass?

      Natural Grass Vs. Artificial Turf


      Artificial field turf has been around for more than 15 years. Two Canadians invented the product. In 2009, 22 NFL team practice on the surface and 10 use it in games. Many colleges in the United States utilize the turf. The bulk of the market for synthetic turf consists of high school fields and municipal parks and recreation fields.


      There is an ongoing debate regarding the safety of field turf versus natural grass. A study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine compared the two surfaces. The study researched high school football athletes in Texas over a five-year period. They were monitored in areas such as frequency of injury, type of injury, location of injury, injury time loss and head and knee trauma.


      The study found there was evidence of more injuries for the athletes who played on artificial turf than on natural grass, but the incidences were minimal. It also found there was more loss of playing time per player on natural grass when it came to sustaining head injuries and ligament injuries.


      The study remains inconclusive because “both surfaces also exhibited unique injury patterns that warrant further investigation.”

      Misconceptions of Field Turf

      There has also been concern over the rubber from the field turf literally getting under a player’s skin. “The rubber can get in your system as much as dirt does,” says Darren Gill, marketing director for FieldTurf Tarkett, one of the largest distributors of the product. “We had one reported case where a player got it in his eye and it had to be washed out.”


      Field turf is cheaper to maintain than real grass because it doesn’t need to be regularly watered or cut. It also does not have to be shut down in the winter like grass fields. It stands up to the abuses of multiple games over a weekend and can be used anytime.ReferencesDarren Gill/Marketing Director FieldTurf

      Incidences, Causes, and Severity of High School Football Injuries on FieldTurf Versus Natural Grass

      Read more: Safety of Artificial Athletic Field Turf | eHow http://www.ehow.com/facts_5557356_safety-artificial-athletic-field-turf.html#ixzz2UIWAEQ3s

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Heathcote/100001047972414 Chris Heathcote

    Having played on different types of turf fields and spending time on the latest generation of turf fields, there is still nothing better than playing on a cool soft well maintained natural turf. Besides this is football, mud and grass stains are what make the game fun.