MORRISVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s not usually the thing that gets, national, even international attention, but the replacement of SUNY Morrisville’s turf field is creating a buzz even the school wasn’t expecting.

SUNY Morrisville’s Athletic Director Matt Grawrock sat down with NewsChannel 9’s Jeff Kulikowsky for an interview that surrounded the question we all have: Why a black turf?

Most colleges have various shades of green field turf, but there are a small few who have a pop of color such as Boise State University with its blue turf and Eastern Washington University with its red turf. SUNY Morrisville is now one of these select colleges that’s going to be known for its black turf.

Why a black turf playing field?

Grawrock explained the choice for the black turf was made after discussing rebranding ideas for the college.

“We were going through a rebrand and we are one of 19 SUNY schools that has green as a major color, so we felt that we needed to move towards a different direction from a rebranding standpoint,” said Grawrock. “We’ve embraced more of black and white as primary colors and as we went through the process, we saw this unique opportunity, on top of a new logo, to have a look for a field that is not very prevalent. I know that few high schools have it in the country, so we said why not do it?”

Grawrock believed that it would be a unique opportunity for SUNY Morrisville’s student-athletes who would have a tremendous experience because of it, and the more they looked at it, the more they saw this was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

“So now we have a field that’s phenomenal to look at and we’re just really excited about having it in place for this upcoming season,” said Grawrock.

It was a big surprise to Grawrock when he saw the headlines that followed in the days after the announcement of the new turf as the college was getting national, even international attention because of the turf color.

“It’s been unbelievable to see the reaction we’ve got. To see our field in Sports Illustrated to any number of sports websites showing it. We also got interest from a website in Japan, Mexico, and England, and it’s beyond our wildest expectations. I don’t know why it happened this way but I’m not going to say no to it. It’s unexpected to be sure,” said Grawrock.

Won’t black turf be too hot?

Even though the new color is a fun and exciting change for the school, there were concerns about how hot the turf would get because of the color choice.

Grawrock explained that though black turf was a big concern for the heat during football and late-season lacrosse, the research showed the color didn’t make much of a difference in the temperature.

“We actually did a lot of research on it and had a lot of conversations with our athletic trainers. Synthetic turf is hot no matter what, and we knew that, so we weren’t quite sure how much hotter. We looked at a study that was done by Penn State across a couple different facets of synthetic turf, and we found that it’s at most two to three degrees hotter than a green field with similar infield.”

After many discussions with the college’s athletic trainers and researching many turf studies, the findings proved that a black turf could work and that this would be a chance worth taking.

“We felt that ultimately because it wasn’t a significant heat increase, it would be worth it taking that chance to move forward with it.”

Moving forward, after 17 years, the SUNY Morrisville Mustangs finally have their new and black-colored turf at Drake Field. According to the college, an official ribbon cutting celebration will be announced in the coming weeks.