Has your natural grass field seen better days? Are you seeing your maintenance rise year over year? And do you ultimately feel like you’re fighting a losing battle? It’s time to consider replacing your grass surface with artificial turf. Here are 10 signs that you should invest in a turf field.
1. Your grass field can’t hold up for the season.
Are you reseeding and re-sodding on a regular basis? Does your grass field look like a war zone of dirt and brown grass by midseason? Do you spend more on maintenance costs than you did a few years ago? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” it’s time to admit that your grass field has reached the end of its usefulness and begin considering alternatives.
2. You cancel practices due to poor field conditions.
How many times have you moved football, baseball, softball or soccer practices indoors or flat-out canceled them because of wet or muddy grass fields? Rain and snowmelt can leave grass fields mushy and unplayable for days at a time — potentially shortening sports teams’ seasons and impacting participation. Bald spots in the grass also make a bad public impression, and a field trying to grow grass will never be green again if you keep playing on it.
3. You’re paying high amounts for water.
When is the last time you compared your most recent water bill to a bill for the same month from last year? Three years ago? Five years ago? If you’re paying more for water, that means you’re irrigating more, most likely because you’re trying to revive an overused grass field that’s unable to keep up with all the activities it hosts.
4. You’re turning away field rental opportunities.
Have you had to say “no” to organizations that want to rent your field for sports teams or special events? If so, what was the reason? If it’s because the grass is unable to withstand increased usage, or the field is closed for repairs or rejuvenation, think about how much those turndowns or shutdowns are costing your own organization in terms of additional revenue.
5. You need to constantly re-sod.
Do you know anybody who likes this process — especially if it needs to be done in the middle of a season? And there’s no guarantee that the new sod will take root and solve a field’s playability issues. Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about keeping grass green and full?
6. A big part of your budget is dedicated to field maintenance.
Just as you we suggest you do with your water bills (see No. 3), compare your annual field maintenance budgets over the past several years. Have you increasingly allocated more dollars to upkeep and supplies? An artificial surface significantly (but not entirely) reduces maintenance efforts and costs.
7. Your field is reserved for game night only.
Do you require all teams that use your grass field to find other places to practice, saving your field exclusively for games while trying to reduce maintenance costs and activity? That’s a sure sign that your grass field is ready to give out; by limiting or prohibiting use, you’re only prolonging the inevitable until the field becomes completely unplayable.
8. You shut down your field after it rains.
How often does it rain your community? Does it receive large amounts of snowfall? A wet field is a major reason why grass fields are shut down. If water control and drainage has become an increasing problem, your field might literally have reached its saturation point.
9. Your athletes are losing a step.
Do the athletes that play on your field slip, fall or lose traction? One of the greatest benefits of a synthetic field is better footing. Countless players on soccer, football and baseball teams that use artificial turf have reported increased traction and better body control on synthetic fields.
10. You’re seeing more injuries than usual.
Are those slips and falls resulting in increased injuries? A field in bad condition is an open invitation for players to get hurt. Research suggests that injuries, including concussions, occur more frequently on grass than turf.