When comparing the attributes of synthetic playing surfaces to those of natural sod, it is helpful to recognize that these are two very different mediums. Assessing the many advantages of turf requires shifting your focus from the short-term, seasonal dynamics of grass to the big picture approach taken by facilities with artificial playing fields.
These alternative surfaces present an array of benefits that include customization, new revenue streams, fewer maintenance costs, reduced use of toxic substances, conservation of water, increased playing time, elevated safety standards and enhanced aesthetic appeal.
Making the switch from grass to turf requires a thorough assessment of the current field and the property at large. Then, a replacement surface is designed that will meet all facility needs while enhancing the value of the property. Finally, the new field is installed and facility management is instructed on long-term protocols.
Fine-tune Your Turf
A customized turf installation can be carefully tailored to meet the exact specifications and dimensions of your facility. This is part of the front-end expense that can pay big dividends over the life of the field. When calculating how much a turf field costs, consider that properties such as fiber thickness, infill density and field lines can be built into your pitch to accommodate a specific sport.
For example, a surface built for indoor soccer can make your facility a standout destination for athletes and fans alike due to the superior performance of the field. This presents the next benefit of a customized artificial surface — the potential to establish additional streams of revenue.
Elect to Have the Field Pay for Itself
Although the up-front turf field costs are greater than those of planting grass or laying sod, so too are the potentials for generating revenue. Traditional grass does not share the exceptional attributes of a specifically engineered playing surface. A field built to certain specifications can be a highly-valued commodity.
Renting your field to other teams and leagues for games, tournaments and training can be a consistent way to earn money that can offset the price of the field and to possibly pay for it in full over a long enough period of time. Also, an outdoor pitch makes an excellent area for a community market or an industry expo. Charging booth space to individual vendors for weekly or monthly events can create revenue streams that add up fast.
Save Money on Maintenance
One of the fundamental downfalls of sod is that it requires constant care in order to be usable for sports. This means costs to mow every week, to apply fertilizers, to water the grass, to aerate it seasonally and to paintnew field lines for games. These expenses can be greatly reduced by installing a turf field. Although artificial surfaces do require some maintenance, your weekly labor costs can consist of just the few hours it may take to spray away blemishes and to brush dust from the fibers.
Eliminate Use of Harmful Chemicals
The idea of reducing labor costs can also be applied to the aspect of fertilizing grass and treating it for pests. These tasks require manpower while introducing caustic chemicals into the environment that simply are not necessary with an artificial surface. Turf field costs canbe pre-emptivelyoffsetby eliminating additional labor and materials. Meanwhile, rather than contributing to pollution, your organization is participating in an eco-friendly practice.
Contribute to Water Conservation
Grass fields that require substantial amounts of water to maintain every year are being increasingly seen as unsustainable. A traditional field can need anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 gallons annually. This can be problematic for facilities located in dry climates known for intermittent droughts such as Texas and California.
When the question of “How much does a turf field cost?” is posed in your organization, consider the fact that the money saved on dramatically reduced water bills can offset the overall price of a new artificial playing surface. Plus, as water is becoming increasingly sparse in heavily populated areas, more can be allotted for human use rather than for growing grass.
Enjoy Abundant Playing Time
A traditional grass field requires recovery time after heavy use. Otherwise, after three or four uses per week, the individual blades and nodes in the heavy use areas of the lawn can begin to weaken and will eventually thin out. This can present safety and aesthetic issues in the form of mud puddles and barren patches.
An artificial turf field, on the other hand, can be played upon for thousands of hours every year – day or night. This can give your team an edge over the competition through increased training opportunities. Also, because a synthetic surface requires no down time, it can be rented out when not in use as discussed above.
Increase Your Facility’s Safety Rating
Another way a turf field can save money and pay for itself is through decreased hazards to players. A traditional grass field in a dry climate can become a hard, unforgiving and inconsistent playing surface. This can increase injuries-which can, in turn, raise your insurance premiums.
Meanwhile, your team’s viability can decrease as players are dealing with sprains and other impairments instead of competing at full capacity. On the other hand, a grass pitch in a wet climate can become saturated by rain — presenting the safety concerns of a slick surface with insufficient traction. A synthetic field has a built in drainage system, so that rainy days won’t cause cancellations and subsequent rescheduling challenges.
Always Look Your Best
An artificial surface is not affected by intense heat, rain or wind. While a grass field can become withered and tired-looking from extreme weather, synthetic surfaces can consistently appear fresh and vibrant. This adds to the visual appeal of the pitch — making is an attractive destination for games and rentals.
An array of dynamic features can absorb the turf field costs that, while more expensive than grass initially, can save and generate considerable amounts of money over time. Perhaps now is a great time to realize the many ways in which your facility can benefit from an artificial playing field.