This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday and the first NFL playoff game in Dallas’ new Cowboys Stadium. Like many new stadiums, Cowboys Stadium features synthetic turf, which is becoming increasingly popular at facilities that not only host high-contact sports like football, but also market themselves as year-round venues for various other sporting and entertainment events.
The debate over natural versus synthetic turf continues to swirl in athletic field design circles, with both surfaces having pros and cons depending on their intended uses. But professional-grade football stadiums certainly seem to be making the switch to synthetic thanks to tough weather-related conditions on natural grass and the increasing demand on the fields. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heinz Field, for example, has been criticized for its inconsistent natural grass playing surface. Heinz Field is not only the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers but it is also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, several area high school football championships, and other athletic events. Due to the ever increasing demand on the field, a decision has recently been reached to convert Heinz Field to synthetic turf.
|Lincoln Fields in Lexington, Massachusetts|
Of course, synthetic turf is not always the best solution—different fields have different needs and should be designed accordingly. But as more high-demand, multi-purpose facilities like Cowboys Stadium take shape, we won’t see a decline in its use anytime soon.
Enjoy the game!