Artificial turf is becoming more commonly used for major sports leagues, particularly the NFL. In the 2019 season, 13 NFL teams are playing on artificial turf, and that number is expected to grow.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding between a natural grass field and artificial turf. Maintenance, costs and health factors all play an important role in the decision of what field to play on.
With synthetic turf for football fields, there is little to no maintenance needed throughout its lifespan compared to a grass field. With a large majority of every year spent playing on these fields, NFL teams seem to opt for artificial turf to prevent any major maintenance issues from arising during a game or season. Any maintenance fixes the field may need are minor and easy to tend to.
Along with maintenance, artificial turf fields are more environmentally friendly. Unlike natural grass, artificial turf doesn’t require treatment with pesticides and fertilizers, which is hazardous to the environment and the players. Artificial turf also saves a tremendous amount of water, which also reduces costs
Another important factor NFL teams are taking into account is which surface can provide the best support and enhance performance. Artificial turf is known for having a resilient surface, being resistant and remaining unaffected by inclement weather. The material the turf is made out of can withstand heavy foot traffic and the wear and tear of games.
The injury risk is also low for artificial football fields. The surface is much more slip-resistant in comparison to grass fields. Durability and an even playing surface means fewer injuries. Grass fields can get torn up by rough play. Some common injuries on grass playing surfaces during a game can include twisted ankles from potholes, uneven playing surfaces and slips in the mud or other inclement weather.
NFL teams are transitioning into using artificial turf more and more each year. The benefits these teams use artificial turf for include: low maintenance, cost-efficiency, enhanced performance and much more. Some of the current NFL teams using artificial turf are the Cowboys, Seahawks, Patriots, Saints, Texans, Vikings and more. The Rams and Chargers will share an artificial turf stadium in 2020, making the number of teams using artificial turf 15.