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Dodger Stadium project enhances a place of community pride

New turf will be safer, easier to maintain

Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex has rightfully been the focus of the local sports scene this week as the annual girls state softball tournament has progressed. But there is another fine sports venue in Fort Dodge awaiting its moment in the spotlight.

That facility is Dodger Stadium, the home football field for the Fort Dodge Dodgers, St. Edmond Gaels and Iowa Central Tritons.

It is an historic stadium, built by the federal Works Progress Administration as part of that agency’s many construction jobs aimed at helping the country recover from the Great Depression. The first game was played there on Oct. 4, 1940.

Recently, a new turf playing surface was installed there at a cost of about $850,000. It replaced a 12-year-old surface.

It is a sharp-looking playing field, with the name Dodgers in big black letters on a red background in the end zones.

It is notable that both Fort Dodge Community School District Superintendent Jesse Ulrich and head football coach Nik Moser point to safety as one of the biggest advantages of the new turf. The coach described the new turf as a softer, safer surface. A quarterback in the process of being sacked probably won’t be thinking about the softer turf, but over the course of season that material will benefit the players in the form of fewer bumps, bruises and even more serious injuries.

The other big benefit cited by Ulrich is the ease of maintenance. The district has purchased a turf grooming system that will maintain the looseness and softness of the turf.

The turf project will help to ensure that Dodger Stadium will be a source of community pride for decades to come.

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