Football has a massive following across the country, with fans often focusing on the players while overlooking the playing field. However, the field is a crucial aspect of the game, as players perform best on a well-maintained turf. Many NFL players actually prefer playing on artificial turf over natural grass. Currently, 14 NFL stadiums utilize artificial turf, with the other 16 stadiums opting for natural grass.
What Is Artificial Turf Made Of?
Artificial turf consists of yarn fibers, or artificial blades, woven through a backing. These blades are typically made from nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene fibers. The backing can be made from perforated felt, latex, polyester, or polyethylene. Specifically for football turf, it often comprises monofilament polyethylene-blend fibers tufted into a polypropylene backing.
Below the Surface: Synthetic Turf Field Layers
The installation of artificial turf generally involves several layers, which contribute to its efficiency and durability. Here is an overview of these layers:
1. Turf Sub-Base
This layer serves as the foundation for the turf. Artificial turf can be installed on various surfaces, including indoor and outdoor concrete, as well as soil. Before installation, it is crucial to assess the base for factors such as drainage level and padding.
2. Base of Leveled & Compacted Permeable Aggregates
A strong foundation is essential for constructing a synthetic turf field that offers proper drainage and longevity. Permeable aggregates play a vital role in achieving these objectives by facilitating field drainage and ensuring a flat and stable playing surface. Additionally, drainage pipes may be installed to redirect water away from the field.
3. Shock Pad Technology
The purpose of the shock pad is to enhance the resilience of the turf’s fibers and infill. It strikes a balance between shock absorption and consistent firmness. The pad is created by molding polypropylene into pattern-textured panels, which feature drainage channels. The interlocking of panels allows for the mitigation of shadowing and accommodates thermal expansion.
4. Turf Thatch
The turf thatch refers to the yarn or fibers that provide the artificial turf with its plush and “grassy” texture. These fibers simulate the texture and color variation of natural grass, improving the turf’s appearance and traction.
5. Turf Infill
The infill is composed of granules that are spread on top of the turf and between the grass blades. Its main purposes are to weigh down the base, ensure the upright position of the blades, aid in drainage, and enhance traction. Different types of infills are available, such as silica sand, crumb rubber, and acrylic-coated silica granules. Regular maintenance includes periodic adding and redistributing of infill.
Which Is Best Between NFL Turf & Natural Grass?
1. Turf Requires Minimal Maintenance
One of the advantages of artificial turf is its low maintenance requirements. The cost of tools, supplies, and labor needed to maintain natural grass can be significant. Considering this, the initial cost of turf installation seems quite reasonable.
2. Turf has a Consistent Surface
Natural grass can develop uneven surfaces due to constant foot traffic, resulting in unnecessary pathways or bare spots. Artificial turf, on the other hand, is highly resilient and can withstand the pressure of walking, running, and tackling. The blades of the turf bounce back and remain upright with regular maintenance. Additionally, artificial turf absorbs shock, is non-abrasive, and provides proper traction, thereby helping to prevent injuries.
3. Artificial Turf is Suitable for Any Climate
Natural grass requires specific conditions, including adequate sunlight, to thrive. It can quickly fade and deteriorate when exposed to excessive sun, water, use, or drought. In contrast, artificial turf retains its color, texture, and length, offering a consistent playing surface regardless of the climate.
4. Turf is Durable
With proper installation and regular maintenance, artificial turf can last for 10-15 years or even longer. Its incorporation of UV protection into the resin prevents fading and degradation. This durability saves both time and money in the long run.
5. Turf is Cost-Effective
The cost of installing artificial turf depends on various factors, such as field size, climate, and materials used. On average, artificial turf costs around $2.00 – $5.00 per square foot, with additional costs for the base and infill. However, considering the minimal maintenance requirements and extended lifespan of artificial turf, it proves to be a cost-effective investment.
Turf Factory Direct for Quality Football Turf
If you’re considering turf for your football field surface, Turf Factory Direct offers a wide selection of high-quality artificial turf at budget-friendly prices. Whether you need turf for sports fields, soccer, putting greens, indoor sports, or batting cages, Turf Factory Direct has you covered. Visit our website to browse our selection or reach out to us with any questions you may have.