Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank says he believes Maryland fans will be "very happy" with a new synthetic-turf football field featuring designs and colors that the school has yet to reveal.

Under Armour is a branding consultant on the project to transition from natural to artificial grass inside Byrd Stadium.

"How do we make a better field? How do we make the coolest field in the country? And I mean that figuratively, and I mean that literally," Plank said. "The university, they are the ones that are making the decisions on what is happening down there. It's a chance for us to help Maryland."

The field upgrade is part of a series of improvements to Byrd Stadium, which opened in 1950. In 2009, the school unveiled a $50.8 million expansion that included luxury suites and new mezzanine seating.

Maryland athletic officials said it was premature to discuss the new field project. Officials said the funding came from private sources.

The grass field did not always hold up well in adverse weather conditions.

"If anyone watched the Boston College game last year where we only had 5,000 people in the stands, there was a mud bowl that was going on out there that was awful," Plank said. "And you're looking at that and saying, 'This is a Division I, ACC football team that's sliding around with slop all over themselves.' The drainage is something that needs to be completely redone."

It's not known when Maryland will preview the new field design.

All Plank would say was: "We're going to see a lot of red and white this year."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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