An irrigation pipe under the southeast side of Bulldog Stadium burst Sunday producing mud and debris in the south end zone. But it’s not expected to affect the football game Saturday.
The 4 inch (it was previously reported as 2 inches) pipe burst under the cement berm behind sections 37 and 38, and construction workers were on-site Monday cleaning and working on fixing the break. The mess was discovered Sunday at 9 a.m. by a university facilities employee.
“Obviously [the employee] noticed something, made the phone call and, at that point, we started the process to bring in the experts and the construction people to fix it,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Paul Ladwig.
Workers cleaning up mud and debris on the south end zone at Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 25, 2017. (Daniel Gligich/The Collegian)
The field was expected to be cleaned for Saturday. Once cleanup crews take the debris off the field, they will clean the field, take the rubber out from the turf, fluff the field, put clean rubber back in and fluff it one more time.
“By the time we finish fixing everything we need to fix, the stadium should be ready to go, and the fans really and truly shouldn’t notice a thing,” Ladwig said.
As of Monday, there was no blocked access on the ramp, Ladwig said, and the school will have some engineering reports in before Saturday to see if it will be necessary to block off any part of the stadium for the game.
In a statement released by the university Monday, Ladwig said that section 38 will be closed on Saturday as a precautionary measure in order to ensure the safety of the fans. The band will be relocated from section 38 to another section.
Workers fixing the irrigation pipe on the walkway behind sections 37 and 38 at Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 25, 2017. (Daniel Gligich/The Collegian)
Fresno State is in the process of renovating Bulldog Stadium and recently discovered cement cracks on the east side that may delay the project. Ladwig said that these two issues are independent of each other and are both a result of an aging stadium.
Head football coach Jeff Tedford said that he was at the stadium Sunday and saw the mess. He said that it is not a problem for the players, and that they will likely use the grass practice field for at least most of the week.
“The only thing that changed for us was we were going to go in the stadium last night [Sunday], and we had to move to the grass,” Tedford said. “So really that’s not a big deal.”
Fresno State hosts Nevada on Saturday at 7 p.m.