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Why does UCA have a purple and gray striped field?

The football field at UCA has garnered national attention due to its purple and gray stripes, making it maybe the most unique field in all of college football.

CONWAY, Ark. — Over the past decade the UCA football program has been model of consistency with a high-powered offense, a loyal fanbase, and maybe the most unique field in college football.

“This is our 12th football season on the stripes. 12 years which is hard to believe," Athletic Director, Dr. Brad Teague said.

Just over a decade ago, UCA used natural grass at their stadium. Later, the decision was made to switch to artificial turf. 

“We ran the numbers and figured out you save on maintenance, fuel, water, paint, and fertilizer," Teague said.

He saw this change as an opportunity to make a splash and try something revolutionary that would make the field feel a little different.  

“Our creative person said, '"what do you think about this?"' He threw in the stripes with purple and gray. I said, "'wow, that’s interesting. I kind of like it,'" he said. 

Despite his immediate love of the purple and gray stripe idea, Teague did not want to make this decision alone. That's why he brought in students, players, and faculty to discuss their options. 

“We had an all-purple option. We had every 10-yard stripes. We had the purple zones instead of the red zones and the rest gray,” Teague said.

“The Stripes” was the clear consensus winner. The timing of the announcement caught just as much attention as the field itself.

“April 1st, 2011. On April Fool’s Day we announced we were doing stripes. We got a lot of national attention. I was on TV and radio around the country," Teague said. "People thought we were kidding and we were not. That summer we installed the stripes and it’s been that way ever since."

Now for the better part of a decade. The Stripes have not only been used for recruiting but created their own marketing campaign.

“We’re known for it now. You’ve got to be known for something and we’re known for this and we’re proud of it. We just installed new turf last year so we’ve got another 10 years with stripes for sure,” he said.

The Bears are back on the stripes next Saturday, Oct. 29th for homecoming against North Alabama.

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