The Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass for Sports
When sports teams take the field, the grass beneath their feet is often an unsung hero. The playing surface is one of the most important aspects of sports. It affects how the game plays and needs to be in good shape. Pro teams often need to pay top dollar to keep their field properly maintained. Natural grass vs. artificial turf has been an ongoing debate in the sports world. Although turf is criticized by some athletes and fans, it also has many advantages. Check out this look at the pros and cons of artificial grass.
Pros of Artificial Turf
One of the top advantages of artificial turf is how low-maintenance it is compared to natural grass.
Grass requires water and fertilizer to grow green and strong. Once it grows, it needs to be cut, shaped, and cleaned on a regular basis. There are also issues such as bugs and pests.
Because of all the maintenance needed for natural grass, full-time groundskeeping crews are a common sight in professional sports.
Compared to natural grass, turf is essentially set-it-and-forget-it. It doesn’t need to be watered or cut, plus it’s bug-free.
Grass and the dirt underneath it are prone to get torn up.
Look at any football or soccer field after a game. It will be full of divots, cleat marks, and otherwise messed up.
Artificial turf is much more durable and able to withstand more of a beating. It’s also more weather resistant, and the field won’t turn to a mud bowl in the case of a storm.
Thanks to the reduced need for maintenance and increased durability, the overall long-term costs of artificial turf can be much lower than grass.
This makes artificial turf perfect for teams and complexes with limited funds. High school stadiums, public recreation centers, and even minor league or lower division pro teams can take advantage of the cost savings.
No Need for Sun
Since artificial turf doesn’t need natural light for the growing process, it’s the best surface option for indoor stadiums.
The Dallas Cowboys use synthetic grass. Even with the partially retractable roof on AT&T Stadium, there’s not enough sunlight for natural grass to grow. Turf is a convenient alternative.
Artificial turf is often seen as the more eco-friendly field option.
Turf helps conserve water. It also prevents the use of dangerous pesticides or polluting fertilizers. Many artificial grass varieties use recycled materials.
Cons of Artificial Turf
Sports is a deeply nostalgic and spiritual experience for many people.
Many traditionalists loathe artificial turf for its inauthenticity to their sport’s culture. For many, things like the smell of fresh-cut grass are an essential aspect of taking in a ballgame.
One of the biggest complaints about turf is heat.
The plastic blades and rubber filling absorbs and holds on to the sun’s heat. Synthetic surfaces can be 35 degrees Fahrenheit to 55 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than natural grass.
Injuries and Soreness
Although some studies show there’s no discernable difference in injury potential, many athletes don’t feel comfortable on turf.
Most complaints are anecdotal and based on experience. US soccer star Alex Morgan, concerned about the use of turf during the women’s World Cup, claimed she feels sorer and for longer after playing on an artificial surface.
Learn More About the Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass
Overall, artificial turf has many advantages over natural grass. In most situations, the pros and cons of artificial grass lean in favor of the many advantages.
To learn more about installing synthetic grass, contact us today.