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El Nino Wreaks Havoc with Sports Fields

May 25, 2016

As welcome as all the rain has been, for those who play sports, this El Nino season has been a muddy mess. With chunks of sod stuck in cleats to slipping and missing vital plays, the status of the field can mean a win or a loss. For the crews who maintain the sod, it is an endless job of replacing it after each and every game.

Is the condition of the fields adding to the number of injured players? Multi-million dollar deals are made for team members. As much concern should go into finding a money-saving option for the playing field. Many teams practice on artificial turf, why not replace the fields with a synthetic turf installation? Local companies like Watersavers Turf can offer advice on the options offered with this water-wise choice.

Natural grass fields tend to get damaged after games and large events. It can take days to set up events, and just about as much time to tear them down. Keeping stadiums in good shape is vital for revenue for the stadium and the team. Sports managers in the industry say the condition of the field is not often taken into account before playing. And getting the field ready to play and restoring it after the game are traits that few of them are good at. Amy Fouty, sports turf manager for Michigan State, says that the sports turf manager is part of the planning process to get the field in good shape.  Funding is readily given to make sure the field is in game-day status as soon as it can be.

This past fall, Baltimore kicker, Justin Tucker had an issue with the Levi’s Stadium turf.  He slipped while trying to make a win or lose play for the team as a chunk of turf gave way. There just isn’t enough time for the grass to root for stability, says Henry Wilksinson, turf expert. Thicker sod can help, he said. If you watched the Super Bowl you would have seen that players’ cleats were rotated a few times due to the condition of the real grass turf which was a muddy mess for the players to deal with. Perhaps, a synthetic turf installation could prevent these types of issues in the future.

The New England Patriots chose to install an artificial turf field which is a great idea with the harsh weather conditions they play in. Other teams may follow suit when they realize the improved safety and cost savings. Some coaches might even find that their players have fewer injuries., Bob McNair, Houston Texans owner, had to pull their star running back, Arian Foster, for a non-contact injury . Linebacker, Jadeveon Clowney’s rookie season was forfeited when he tore his meniscus after a stumble on the real grass field. He subsequently had microfracture surgery.

Sports turf managers should embrace artificial turf and support its installation because their teams often play on it at their away games. It is important to be able to recreate the experience that teams have for those away games by bringing it to their practice home games. Local sports field experts, Watersavers Turf , would be happy to answer any questions about installing or maintaining sports turf. You can contact them at 844-974-8873.

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