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Kansas to remove track from around football field at Memorial Stadium

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Kansas
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Nov 16, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; An general view of Memorial Stadium before the game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and Kansas Jayhawks. (John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports)

Kansas is removing the track that circles the football field at Memorial Stadium.

The school announced the move on Friday and will put artificial turf where the track currently is. The new turf will stretch 37 feet from the sidelines and 85 feet from the end zone, which is 25 more feet of turf.

Memorial Stadium has sections of grandstand on three sides and there will be 10 feet of asphalt between the turf and the stands, which will not be moved in the renovations. A fence will be replaced in the south end zone, where there isn't permanent seating. The construction will begin Tuesday.

"Rarely in facilities work do we get to do something that directly benefits players and fans at the same time," Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger said in a statement. "We'll have a larger safety zone for players and more usable practice space for the team. Fans will immediately appreciate the improved optics that these changes will provide."

"During our recent discussions with players, coaches and fans, their highest priority was that we remove the track. We are grateful that a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, stepped up to make possible this intermediate phase of renovation."

The removal of the track was made feasible by the construction of a new track site. The Kansas Relays have been held at Memorial Stadium since 1923 but moved to Rock Chalk Park in 2014. Without a large track meet, the track was superfluous and very few schools still have tracks around football fields.

Memorial Stadium was built in 1921 and, according to Kansas, is the seventh-oldest stadium west of the Mississippi River.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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