New Citrus Bowl turf part of renovation

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The much-maligned grass field at the Citrus Bowl will be replaced with artificial turf in time for next year's game.

The Orlando city council gave a "top-bidder ranking" to Turner Construction on Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Once a final contract is awarded, the newspaper said, a $10 million "mini-renovation" will begin. The $1 million new field is part of that process.

"We'll never be confronted by the problem we had at the Capital One Bowl," Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer said, according to the Sentinel.

Last year, the grass field disintegrated due to extensive use and rain -- especially for the New Year's Day Citrus Bowl, which is nationally televised. Chunks of sod were loosened during Penn State's 19-17 win over LSU. During the Champs Sports Bowl a week earlier, Miami Hurricanes running back Graig Cooper injured his right knee without being touched.

The field is also used for state championship high school football games.