The question of installing artificial turfgrass or laying sod for sports fields has been hotly debated for decades. Artificial turfgrass limits the need for typical upkeep, conserving both time and resources. However, considerations like painting, cleaning, and repairs even the maintenance costs between natural and synthetic turf. Debates on the safety and sustainability of sports turfgrasses also divide sports team management when choosing artificial or homegrown turf.
Sports Grass Maintenance
Field size, frequency of play, and field irrigation help determine the maintenance necessary to keep a sports field fresh and playable. For natural sod, the maintenance differs depending on turfgrass variety. While Bermuda turf is versatile, Zeon Zoysia requires the least amount of water, herbicides, and general upkeep to remain springy and fresh. Most synthetic turfgrasses need regular watering, sweeping, filling, and sanitation to remain crisp and game-ready. Artificial turfgrass costs between $5,000-$25,000 in upkeep each year, while natural turfgrass costs begin around $4,000 and increase based on climate, sod variety, and frequency of traffic.
Injuries Caused by Natural and Artificial Turf
Athlete injury may be the biggest drawback to installing artificial turf. Natural grasses offer players pliability, yielding during rough play to decrease the risk of injury. Turfgrass developers continually improve their product, making research on the safety of synthetic turf nearly impossible. However, a Canadian sports management study recently announced that 94% of participating Major League Soccer players associate synthetic turfgrass with increased soreness, muscle pain, and longer recovery from injury. The players said the additional friction and resistance in synthetic turf fields causes them to tire more easily, increasing the risk of athletic injury.
To learn about the best natural sod for your sports field, call NG Turf.