High School Turf Fields

We've seen an increase in turf fields at the high school level in Texas especially the Houston area due to raining all of the time and unpredictable weather. Our stadium got turf a couple of years ago and are adding a jumbotron scoreboard right now. Growing up, I never seen these kinds of fields except at some colleges and pro fields. Are ya'll seeing more turf where ya'll are at? 

Original Post

We haven't had a rain out game since the turf was installed. A couple of years ago there were only a couple of fields that were turf and our baseball team was 4 rounds deep in the playoffs. We had to travel like 3 1/2 hours to find a turf field due to the weather. After that, the district said we will have turf next year.

We have several turf football fields.  But only a few actual HS turf field I know of.  1 at a relatively new school and one at a small private school.  

What we really need, is a complex of turf HS sized fields in our area.  You could get the high schools on them in the early season, and then the 14U and HS travel teams in the late spring and summer.  

You'd think the Pacific NW would have exclusively turf fields with all the rain up here, but those that have turf are often just turf infield, so the grassy outfield causes the rainouts due to swamp-like conditions at many HS fields.  Sometimes if your field rains out, you'll switch to an away game if the opponent has turf, just to get the games in.  March madness weather up here!

In Central Ohio, we have one turf field at the HS Level. It belongs to an all male, Catholic school. It is a combined, football / Baseball facility. Part of the football field is the outfield. Turf was the same one both. You had to have slick fielding outfielders. If a ball skipped past an outfielder, it will travel for quite a bit. Ground balls did not slow much when hitting the turf. And god help any fielder if there is any english on a hit ball. 

Definately some home field advantage.

I believe that depending on how much sub-grade work and drainage work is needed etc., you can figure a budgetary number somewhere between $400,00-$700,000 depending on size of field and what type turf selected including installation.  If you throw in nice stands/stadium, batting cages, bullpens, new lights, scoreboard you can easily get in the 1-1.5 million range pretty quickly.   They are purported to be 10 years +- but that also depends on how much use there is by other sports/activities (soccer, lacrosse, drill team, marching band, tournaments, football practices...)

Hahaha... I'm guessing most of these are privates.  I just plopped down $30 for more sandbags so we can keep our mound and plate tarps from blowing off the field.  The bags have to be positioned just right to cover the holes in the tarps     Usually not that big of a deal here in Calif. but after just one rainstorm during all of October thru late February (resulted in Montecito floods after the fires), March is looking to be really wet.

Maybe I shoulda just put a down payment on a turf field.  Ya think $30 would have got 'em started?

Seriously, though, I would like to see a long term cost analysis of turf vs natural, factoring in some logistics costs with lost/rescheduled games, etc.   ...although Fred's starting numbers are probably a conversation killer for 98% of schools.

In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area there are both public and private schools that are/have put them in.  Many of the public schools are also building college quality indoor multi use turf facilities... go figure...  I could be off by 50-100K but it is still a pretty solid investment in facilities. 

RJM posted:

Every high school baseball field from Maryland to Maine should be turf to handle violative spring weather. Few are.

I could not agree more.  the schools with turf in our area are just the private schools who found a donor to supply it for naming rights or whatever but it would seem to make sense where we live (northern midwest) because it allows the schools to get on the field early, even for tryouts.  We practiced outside a few times in January for summer ball on turf fields.  It was a huge luxury. 

Our HS recently relocated their baseball diamond to another part of the athletic campus and everyone was VERY disappointed they went with all grass. I guess they don't realize that the revenue they are getting from renting out the turf football field for soccer, lacrosse, flag football etc etc. at every waking moment doesn't have to limited to football.  dumb. 

longsufferingmetsfan posted:

I've always wondered about the cost.  We're in north Texas and have seen some incredible turf fields.  It almost seems commonplace at this point, and is no longer a shock.   

Does anyone know what it costs a school to put down turf and how long it is expected to last?     

Our local HS spent $3.8 million on a new football stadium, turf field, and field house.  Of that $3.8 million, the turf field was probably $800,000 - $1 million.   This was after it was estimated to cost almost $6 million to bring the old stadium and field up to standards (it was over 30 years old - stadium had structural issues, and the the field needed major work and that included a new parking lot - field was at a different site from the newly built high school).   The new field is used for soccer and field hockey in addition to football.   The local youth association rents it out in the fall for youth football ($1,000/day).

I belief turf has a lifetime expectancy of 10 years with replacement cost in the $500,000 - $800,000.  So what you save in maintenance should go to help cover the cost of new turf when the time comes.  

In Texas, we have multiple  $60 million football stadiums for HS. Some baseball complexes are being built at several million $. These are public schools. Our school is a 5A public school and in recent years have added a $12 million indoor football/baseball practice facility, multi million $ baseball and softball turfed facilities, and a $14 million football stadium. Heck, our band has two 18 wheelers to carry equipment. Times are definitely changing.

TXdad2019 posted:

In Texas, we have multiple  $60 million football stadiums for HS.

Our "new" local HS (not the field - the actual school building) cost less than that in 2009 - just under $50 million.  The new school can handle up to 1700 students - current student population is ~1400 (and growing).   That did not include the football stadium (added in 2014 for $3.8 million if my memory serves), but did include new baseball and softball fields. 

57special posted:

Here in MN it is getting more common, but by no means common. HS has put in turf practice fields.

Good hands son despises it. Feels it dumbs down fielding. It's also damn hot. You can feel the heat radiating off the surface, unlike grass. 

My son loved turf because he was fast. The first time (14u) he played on turf (baselines too) it was wet. We were playing MLB rules. Breaking up two both he and the shortstop ended up in left field. I (coach) had to convince the umpires it was ignorance of sliding on wet turf not a cheap shot. Being tossed was rescinded. 

Here in central Ohio if HS want to play on Turf they rent Grady Field in Xenia:

http://www.aiasportscomplex.co...ts-complex/baseball/

But they are competing with D3 and D2 teams. Our HS is going to have to move their Baseball, Softball and Football field, due, to a new HS being built on the same site as the Current school. I know the football field will get new turf. Not sure of the other two. The Softball field and the Baseball fields were built with donations, several years back. I am curious to see if they are going to replace them with similar fields or if the two programs will have to go through fund raising again just to get back to what they lost. 

 

While I don't think any schools have their own turf fields, a lot of southern Ohio high schools and NAIA colleges play games the V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. It also hosts a Prospect League college wood bat league team in the summer. They even set it up for some youth league and softball games.  It beats the heck out the swamp that is our high school field. I think they just charge $6 admissions and keep the concessions instead of renting the field out.

VA Memorial Stadium
V.A. Memorial Stadium
VA Memorial Stadium
V.A. Memorial Stadium

 

The Flush posted:

While I don't think any schools have their own turf fields, a lot of southern Ohio high schools and NAIA colleges play games the V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. It also hosts a Prospect League college wood bat league team in the summer. They even set it up for some youth league and softball games.  It beats the heck out the swamp that is our high school field. I think they just charge $6 admissions and keep the concessions instead of renting the field out.

VA Memorial Stadium
V.A. Memorial Stadium
VA Memorial Stadium
V.A. Memorial Stadium

 

My son started one of his first college games their. A lot of D3's use this facility in Feb and March. The NCAC tournament is also held here every year. It has a turf mound as well. 

Heck, I'll just take a temporary fence.  Our HS field is the worst, where the OF slops down.  My son hasn't given up too many hard hit balls, but 2 that he did ended up being HR because they ran down hill.  One was a RF gapper from a righty that split the outfielders and ran into the softball field (2 outs in the 7th to spoil a shutout...ugh).  The other a line drive that the LF took a step in, went over his head and rolled into the woods.

Worst part is, we're a pretty well to-do down with a very nice legion field, but HS team doesn't use it. 

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