An Introduction to AstroTurf for Catholic Athletics
Most sports are played on fields. Baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse – these sports are a chance to be outdoors, run, and exercise in ways that helps students stay fit while engaging the community and creating a sense of unity with the school.
During the game, it’s easy to forget about these fields. They’re not meant to be a part of the story. But when the game is over, the field becomes one of the most important logistical components of the school. It has to be watered, weeded, smoothed out, and otherwise maintained in a way that often requires full-time care.
AstroTurf: An Alternative to Traditional Grass Fields
AstroTurf refers to “fake grass” – an alternative to traditional grass fields that is widely used not only in the world of sports, but also in commercial and residential spaces. Because it is not living grass, has far fewer requirements than traditional grass fields:
• No watering
• No mowing
• No pests.
• No fungi.
• Limited landscape care.
There is very little risk of uneven fields, weeds, or other imperfections that traditionally require a considerable amount of landscape maintenance for other types of fields. There is also no risk of weather affecting the look or feel of your field. Athletes can play on an even, picture-perfect field that is natural in appearance, with limited risk of injury.
Original AstroTurf was made of a rough short pile fiber, which was rougher on the feet and some felt did not appear as natural. But the current interactions of AstroTurf are vibrant, soft, natural, and last even longer. They represent a low maintenance upgrade to traditional types of outdoor fields.
How the Cost and Value Compares to Grass Fields
AstroTurf requires only a single, upfront cost for installation. The cost is higher than landscaping, but most schools find that they save those costs in the long term by reducing maintenance and upkeep fees. The cost of AstroTurf varies based on the type of turf, the infill, the base, the edging, and more.
Most estimates are given by the square foot. Examples of some of these costs include:
• Base Preparation: $4 a square foot.
• Turf Material: Nylon Astroturf ($3 a square foot) or Polypropylene ($2 a square foot)
• Infill: $1 a square foot.
The average field will cost about $8 to $12 per square foot after accounting for most of the products involved and the cost of the installer.
Football fields are about 80,000 square feet, so the cost to install artificial turf across an entire football field will be about $800,000. Cost for sod fields is lower, at approximately $400,000.
But that cost comes with an 8 year warranty and considerable savings on maintenance and care. Maintaining a sod football field could cost as much as $25,000 to 50,000 per year or more. With AstroTurf, the expectation is that you may need to budget only $5,000 at most per year for maintenance. After about 10 years (the likely minimum lifespan of your field), that’s a cost of $850,000 for the AstroTurf and as much as $900,000 for the sod field.
Yet in addition to that, there are supplementary values that can add even more value. Weather shifts can ruin a field and require immediate additional care that will not be required with an AstroTurf field. Usage can also increase considerably, as there is no need to shut the field down for care. That means that the cost per hour of use is far less than with a sod field. The longer the turf lasts, the more that value improves.
Overall, the value to schools is considerable, and one of the main reasons so many schools have switched to this type of field turf.
Taking the Next Steps: When and How to Replace Your Turf
If you’re in the process of creating a new field, the choice to start with AstroTurf can not only save you money on installation – it can also save you money on future turf replacement. If you currently have a sod field, the best time to replace your field is during the off months, because it does take roughly 6 weeks for installation to be completed.
Though it is possible to install artificial turf yourselves, companies like AstroTurf include these costs in their pricing, and have staff to provide surveying, design, obtaining permits, and more. If AstroTurf is something that interests you, you can learn more on our Partner Page or by calling the AstroTurf company, today.