April 15, 2024

Duke football field, explained: How an April Fools’ Day prank convinced fans Wallace Wade Stadium was going blue


Is Duke football becoming the Boise State of the east?

The Blue Devils posted images of Wallace Wade Stadium with a blue turf Monday, mimicking the controversial electric blue turf Boise State has played on at Albertsons Stadium for nearly four decades.

It is a new era for Duke, after all. Manny Diaz took over in December for coach Mike Elko, who left to take the head job at Texas A&M. QB Riley Leonard also moved on, transferring to Notre Dame. Turning Wallace Wade Stadium into an attraction unlike any other in the ACC could help draw interest to the program.

Not everything is as it seems on April Fools’ Day, though. Here’s what you need to know about Duke’s supposed stadium renovation. 

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Duke blue football field, explained

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you only want to see green football fields), Duke’s playing surface won’t actually be blue this coming season. The Blue Devils’ plans are only an April Fools’ Day prank.

The program took it a bit farther than simply putting up a post on social media, as they published an entire release about the news that dives into the history of Wallace Wade Stadium’s renovations. It wasn’t until the very end that Duke admitted the prank, writing, “APRIL FOOLS. Duke football would not modify its beautiful field, which was awarded the 2023 Sports Field Management Association Field of the Year,” in tiny lettering.

Some fans were actually disappointed that the news wasn’t true.

Duke did still hit its intended audience, as a few fans believed the announcement was real and tried to push back on the plan.

No power conference team plays on a non-traditional field as of 2024, but three FBS teams do. Beyond Boise State, Coastal Carolina’s Brooks Stadium has had teal turf since 2015 while Eastern Michigan’s Rynearson Stadium installed gray turf in 2014.

Based on the reaction to Duke’s prank, there might be more of a market for non-traditional playing fields than some believe. The Blue Devils won’t be the ones to make that change, but another program that isn’t so concerned about seeming gimmicky just might.





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