An elaborate plan is in place to have a new field ready for play at Carter Finley Stadium one week after U2's concert Saturday night.
N.C. State officials won't be completely at ease, though, until the Oct. 10 football game against Duke ends without problems with the field.
According to athletic director Lee Fowler, concert arrangers have put money in the six figure range in escrow to build a new field after the concert. Of that money, some will be spent on resodding immediately after the concert, with the rest left for work after the season if necessary.
School officials have consulted with experts who have completed similar turf rebuilding efforts after gigs in other stadiums, but they are anxious to see the results.
"I'm still nervous about next week," Fowler said.
The first time N.C. State officials were approached about having U2 play at Carter Finley, they declined, Fowler said. Then they were promised that concert organizers would pay for the resodding.
Concert promoter Live Nation is paying a sum in the six figures to rent the stadium, and N.C. State gets to keep revenue from parking and concessions. Fowler said the show will provide good publicity and exposure for N.C. State.
"If you happen to be in the path of a tour like this where they go from D.C. to Virginia to North Carolina to Georgia, we just happened to be in the path," said Ray Brincefield, assistant athletic director for outdoor facilities. "We decided to do this to boost the economy and put people to work and be able to show off our stadium."
Brincefield said the huge, globelike structure U2 is building and the accompanying stage will cover 70 percent of the field. The contract for the event requires all materials for the show to be out of the stadium within 48 hours of the concert's end late Saturday.
Half the field will be stripped Monday night and resodded Tuesday. The other half will be stripped Tuesday night and resodded Wednesday.
Precision Turf of Atlanta is handling the work.
N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien said he isn't concerned about the condition of the field.
"It's been done before," O'Brien said. "It's been done, I believe, at the Meadowlands (in New Jersey) and other places before. I likely shouldn't be so quick to say no, but I know it's been done in the past and there haven't been problems."
Fowler and Brincefield also are confident because they believe they have a good plan. But they're eager to bring it to a conclusion.
"It's all long talk until it happens and it's successful," Brincefield said. "Then we can relish it. But until then we're all very cautious."