AT&T Field, home of the Chattanooga Lookouts, with its brand new Spurtan E warning track installed by Competition Athletic Surfaces
It seems appropriate that a team named the “Lookouts” would pay close attention to their warning track. That may be why Chattanooga’s AA Southern League baseball team called in Competition Athletic Surfaces to re-vamp their perimeter surface.
“We needed to replace both our warning track and the perimeter drainage system and I wanted a solution that we could count on to last for many years,” said Lookouts owner Frank Burke. Burke knew of two Major League ballparks that had employed a running track-type surface for their warning track, and he was interested in doing something similar at the team’s AT&T Field.
The first order of business was to excavate the old track. Steve Clift, president of Competition Athletic Construction, oversaw the project, working closely with Bo Henley, the ball club’s head groundskeeper. They replaced the perimeter drainage system, installing a SportsEdge XT running track-type slot drain, and then covered it with asphalt pavement.
The finishing touch was the installation of the distinctive red Spurtan E running track surface. Track Surfaces managed this portion of the project. Burke liked the finished product so much that he contracted with Competition Athletic Surfaces to install Spurtan E on the dugout floors this season.
The Lookouts’ track marks Competition Athletic Surfaces’ first professional baseball project, but it was simply a matter of re-applying their expertise, according to Lee Murray, president of Competition Athletic Surfaces. “We’ve installed hundreds of running track surfaces. The installation technology was the same, and we knew the Spurtan E would be perfect. We just had to twist it into a slightly different shape,” Murray said.
Burke loves the look of the new warning track, but more importantly, the players and the Los Angeles Dodgers (the Lookouts MLB affiliate) like the way the track “plays”. “And it’s really nice to know that the warning track and the perimeter drainage is something we don’t have to worry about for a long, long time,” he said.
Founded in 2000, Competition Athletic Surfaces, Inc. builds, resurfaces and repairs tennis courts, running tracks and other athletic surfaces throughout the southeastern United States. The company is a manufacturer approved contractor for the Spurtan and Rekortan running track systems as well as a Plexitrac authorized applicator.