One of Albuquerque’s biggest and longest-held complaints among high school soccer coaches is directly addressing the playing surface of the APS complex.
For years, the complex’s four surfaces have been described by coaches and players as too difficult to play consistently. This is because Prep is in constant use not only during his season, but also in the off-season when other entities rent it for use. Therefore, the majority of football traditionalists see them as unsuitable for a pragmatic or tactical brand of football, even forcing teams to drastically change the way the game is played. .
However, there will be a new, softer field for the 2023 season.
Albuquerque Public Schools is currently replacing two of its four fields, which should be in place by the end of this month. His remaining two units he will be replaced by July. And they are expected to be slightly longer and wider than the previous surface. The APS Complex is located just west of Volcano Vista High School.
“(We are) very excited about the new field,” said longtime La Cueva High women’s football coach Amber Ashcraft. “It’s been tough for him to have to play 90 percent of his games on these fields over the last decade, but (we’re) looking forward to playing on the new turf.”
La Cueva, Sandia, West Mesa, Atlisco Heritage and Valley all call the APS complex home. Albuquerque High, Cibola, Rio Grande, Manzano, Highland, Eldorado, Volcano Vista and Del Norte have their own fields on campus. Most of them are grass, but some schools (AHS, Volcano Vista, Manzano) play on grass. Both Eldorado and Cibola have acquired new turf in recent years.
Many coaches say that the APS Complex field has survived its usefulness over time, in addition to being extremely unsafe for players.
Sandia Boys coach Ryan Sanchez said, “The fields have been very poor for the last four or five years. It’s become dangerous to play on them.”
Complex Field has been the subject of controversy since the facility first opened in 2009. Due to the very small size of the surface and the high backlash from coaches, APS soon expanded to 110 yards by 68 yards. However, over the years it has been played much smaller than that, as it quickly becomes stiff when overused.
APS District Athletic Director Adrian Ortega said the new field will be about a foot wider and a foot longer.
“We’re pushing it as far as we can,” said Ortega, adding that these new turfs feature slightly longer blades than those found at football stadiums like Wilson’s and Milne’s, for example, so they’re better suited to the game. was slow, he added.
Ortega said he plans to push the site as a venue for state competitions. The APS Complex is the former host site for the state. Then moved to the Santa Ana Pueblo complex for several years. The University of New Mexico will host championship games in both the spring and fall of 2021. Last November, his sixth inning final was held at Cleveland High School, which has new turf.
APS is spending $908,301 on Phase I of the project through capital expenditure funds, according to APS Chief Operating Officer Dr. APS. Gabriella Blakey.
Phase I costs for this project also include what APS calls “other field work.”
Blakey said Phase II costs are unknown because the project has not yet been contracted.
APS replaced the surfaces of two of the city’s three football venues, Wilson Stadium and Milne Stadium, last year. The reported cost was $365,000 per field.
As for Nusenda Community Stadium, the venue has just completed its 10th football season. It staged its first football match in August 2013. However, with no fall season in 2020 (pandemic) and dramatically fewer games played in the spring of 2021, the actual number of seasons is closer to 9 or 9½.
Normally turf has a shelf life of 10 years, but Nusenda’s is starting to show signs of sheen.
Highland High School also has a new soccer field. It is incredibly stiff underfoot, similar to that of the APS Complex.
According to Blakey, replacement costs for Highland’s field, the only illuminated venue on campus, are $663,236. Construction is scheduled to begin early next month and be completed by the end of April.