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New Playing Surface Coming to Ralph Wilson Stadium

In addition to getting new uniforms, the Bills requested, and are now getting, a new playing surface this offseason.

“We have played eight seasons on the current turf, which has reached its life expectancy, and the grass fibers are breaking down under normal use,” Bills vice president of communications Scott Berchtold said in February. “Only the carpet needs to be replaced, and this does not involve the asphalt sub-base or the draining system.”

In a NFLPA playing surface survey conducted last September through November, Ralph Wilson Stadium ranked 13th among 13 artificially-infilled surfaces after ranking in the Top 5 among artificial surfaces in the 2006 and 2008 surveys.

Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News reports that the old playing surface will be ripped up and replaced this month, with the team opting to wait until after Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s football camp to begin the project.

Erie County is picking up the tab for the replacement, and Gaughan reports that the bid was awarded to A-Turf, a Cheektowaga, New York-based company founded by a Bills’ season-ticket holder. Installing a FieldTurf or SportExe surface can cost over $500,000, but A-Turf, who have not installed an NFL playing surface, bid $178,000 for the Ralph Wilson Stadium project.

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