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Why Are So Many Athletic Facilities Switching to Artificial Turf?

By Paige Cerulli Created: February, 2018 - Modified: September, 2023

There's nothing better than a neatly manicured golf green, or a baseball field full of lush, vibrant grass. But if you've looked closely lately, you may have noticed that many sports and athletic facilities have been foregoing traditional turf, choosing to use artificial grass instead. Why the switch?

Traditional Turf Versus Artificial Grass

Think that you're noticing synthetic turf in more places? You probably are. Artificial turf has become highly popular lately and with good reason. There are many sports facilities that are converting to using synthetic grass over the real stuff.

You're likely to see synthetic turf cropping up in the following venues:
- Soccer fields
- Softball diamonds
- Football fields
- Golf ranges (both indoor and outdoor)
- Baseball batting cages
- Lacrosse fields
- And more

It makes sense that synthetic turf would be highly popular in indoor areas, but it's also being installed more often in outdoor spaces, too. Here's why.


Maintenance is a major driving factor behind the decision to convert to artificial grass. Artificial turf can mean significant savings in maintenance time and cost, especially for larger facilities.

When you're working with real grass, the following maintenance tasks are a must:
- Regular mowing, fertilizing, and weeding
- Watering the turf fields, especially during a drought
- Repairing divots after a game or event
- Reseeding areas where the turf is damaged or growth is slow

Just minimal maintenance can take a significant amount of time, and if the facility is large, you may need a grounds crew just to keep up with the maintenance of the turf fields. This also means extra wear and tear on the machinery, increased water bills, and additional expenses for seeding. Caring for real turf isn't cheap, and is a time-demanding task.

Artificial turf, on the other hand, requires little-to-no maintenance. There's no weeding, no mowing, and no fertilizing. You don't have to worry about keeping the grass watered, or what areas may need to be reseeded. Maintaining artificial turf is largely a hands-off process. This means:
- You'll save lots of time in maintenance
- Your maintenance costs will be greatly reduced
- You may even be able to avoid hiring additional grounds staff, depending on the size of your facility
- You'll be free to focus on other important management tasks

When you consider the maintenance involved in each option, it's clear that synthetic turf offers many advantages over traditional grass. But there are other reasons why venues may opt to give synthetic turf a try.

No Downtime

Another major advantage of having a synthetic turf in your athletic facility? There's no downtime.
When you have genuine grass fields, if it rains before a big game, the field is likely saturated and muddy - or will be in a hurry. There may even be standing water on the field, making for less-than-ideal game conditions. Additionally, if players do compete on the field in this state, they'll cause lots of damage that must be repaired afterward.

Astro turf products don't have this issue. These turf products are designed to maximize drainage, and there's no mud - ever. You won't have to worry about standing water, and can confidently schedule games, knowing that they can be played in any weather. This can bring in increased funds for a facility since your fields will be useable in conditions when other facilities' fields aren't.

There's an aesthetic advantage to synthetic turf, too. Grass tends to wither and die during the fall and winter, but synthetic turf looks great year-round. It can help your facility to make a great impression on potential clients, and you can know for certain that your sports fields will always look great.

When you install synthetic turf, there's no downtime - at all. Your facility will instantly look great, and you'll immediately be able to begin using the fields.

Increased Durability

One of the greatest benefits of choosing to use artificial turf instead of traditional grass is the increased durability that facilities see with synthetic products. This doesn't only mean that there's less maintenance involved, but also increases the potential ways that facilities can use their fields and practice spaces.

The durability of artificial turf offers athletic facilities many benefits:
- Facilities can schedule multiple games on the same fields without causing any damage
- There's no worrying about rotating fields or practice spaces
- Scheduling events around weather and the field's condition will be a worry of the past
- Spectator areas won't become worn down by too much traffic

Many of our artificial turf products are backed by impressive warranties. Facilities can invest confidently, knowing that they're purchasing a long-lasting product that will look great for years to come.

Increased Versatility

Have you ever noticed that grass just doesn't seem to grow well in some areas? If you're trying to manage an athletic facility in an area where the soil is sandy or the weather is uncooperative, growing a genuine turf field can be a difficult undertaking.

In a case like this, artificial turf can be particularly appealing, because you can install it just about anywhere. You won't have to worry about the weather, foot traffic, or choosing the right seed and timing the seeding so that the grass grows. You can even install the turf indoors, where genuine grass wouldn't be practical.

Many of our turf products can also be painted, so if you're using them for a soccer field or football field, you can still paint lines onto the turf.

Realistic Feel and Great Performance

The synthetic turf products that we sell here at Greatmats are carefully selected for their performance and realism. The turf is comfortable underfoot, and you'll have to look closely to notice that the grass isn't actually real.

Synthetic turf also performs well and consistently. It reacts naturally and makes for a safe sports surface, closely resembling the feel of actual ground and turf. The synthetic turf is forgiving if an athlete falls, and makes for an enjoyable surface for kids, adults, and even professional athletes.

Don't forget the aesthetic appeal that this turf offers, too. Synthetic turf is the only way to get the look and feel of real grass in an indoor setting. If an area is frequently shaded, such as in a batting cage, artificial grass is really the only practical option. The beautiful green turf can greatly enhance any area, making a facility look more professional and impressive while providing the perfect backdrop for team photos and games.

Easy Installation

When you're working with synthetic grass, installation is simplified, especially when compared to the process of seeding and growing actual grass. There's no waiting for the right weather or the right time of the season.

Instead, installation can take place nearly any time. Depending on the size of the field, you can complete the entire installation within a short period of time - and then get right to using your field. It's easy and fast, and is a one-time process - you won't have to reseed each year.

Plenty of Options

When a facility converts to using synthetic turf, they'll quickly discover that they have many options when it comes to choosing the exact type of synthetic grass that they want for their fields. Thanks to the wide variety of artificial grass available, facilities can choose the specific color and turf height that is appropriate for their needs.

Making the Switch

There are countless reasons for a sports or athletic facility to switch to using synthetic turf rather than putting the time into maintaining a genuine turf field. Just the money and time that a facility can save in terms of maintenance alone is reason enough to make the switch. Plus, the larger the area to be converted, the greater the facility's potential savings.

If you own a sports facility and are considering converting to artificial grass, please give our customer service team a call. We would be happy to discuss our wide variety of turf products with you and can help you choose a product that suits your facility in terms of usage, aesthetic appeal, durability, installation method, and budget. Our customer service team can also provide you with product samples and shipping quotes to help facilitate your order.

Gym Turf Infographic