Category Archives: Athletics

Artificial Fields at UNC hit 154.4 degrees F on 87 degree day

Athletic field managers from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) held their annual meetings at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill this week and TPI member Erin Wilder from Sod Solutions shared this graphic on Twitter. Synthetic turf fields were 60 degrees hotter than natural grass and 10 degrees hotter than asphalt! Which would you rather have your kids playing on?? #KeepItREAL

TPI Gets Involved at Local Level

Local CBS news coverage of TPI's involvement in natural grass field removal

In early 2019, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced plans to remove the natural grass playing surface in Kenan Memorial Stadium and replace it with synthetic turf. As one could imagine, this decision did not sit well with sod producers in North Carolina and one of them decided to reach out to TPI to take action. Keaton Vandemark, retired TPI member of Vandemark Sod Farms in eastern NC reached out to me to discuss contacting UNC officials regarding this decision. I wrote the letter below (Suz, see other attachment) and sent it to the Chairman of the UNC Board of Governors as well as the Director of UNC Campus Health, the UNC Director of Athletics, the NC Department of Agriculture Commissioner, a former NC Speaker of the House, and the UNC Board of Trustees. I also worked with Mr. Vandemark to contact local news agencies to get this story in front of the public, and it was highlighted on the local CBS evening news. This story also made the rounds on social media where it was shared by the current president of the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and others.

UNC’s athletic director responded to our letter directly, and said that they were moving forward with the synthetic field installation despite our concerns. While we didn’t win this battle, we at least got UNC’s attention and made them aware of the increased risk to their athletes on artificial turf. If TPI can ever assist any of our members with local issues in your area, please let us know. We are happy to promote natural grass and fight to keep our kids and athletes safe everywhere we can. New TPI publications on recent NFL and NCAA player injury research can be found in the Resources tab of TPI’s new website www.TurfgrassSod.org.

The official version of TPI’s letter is attached here and can also be seen in the 2019 July/August issue of Turf News.

Click on the link below to see the full story on CBS 17.com/sports.

Parents push for warning on playgrounds, synthetic turf in heat

Original article published by Evan Lambert, Fox 5 DC

Worried about your child’s health on synthetic turf in hot weather? You’re not the only one! News channel Fox 5 in Washington, D.C. published an article below highlighting parents concerns on D.C. playgrounds where daytime temperatures on these plastic surfaces reached between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information and the original article, click the link below.

Joint Bid wins 2026 World Cup for US, Canada, and Mexico

Original article by Tim Hackett, SI.com

The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Canada, and Mexico as a result of the winning bid coming from these three countries. This will be the first World Cup held in North America since the U.S hosted in 1994. Further details, including host sites, are still being worked out but this is great news for soccer fans and natural grass sod producers in the United States and Canada. The original story from Sports Illustrated can be found at the link below:

Razorbacks Plan Return to Natural Grass

Original article written by Anthony Reyes, WholeHogSports.com

The Arkansas Razorbacks are going natural! Or, should I say returning! After 10 years of synthetic turf, the Arkansas Razorbacks football program will be installing real grass for the 2019 football season and beyond. New head coach Chad Morris goes on record in this article stating his preference for natural grass and we couldn’t agree more! For the original article posted at WholeHogSports.com click on the link below.

#KeepItREAL

“Real grass all day long”: Texas Rangers sound off on new stadium

Original article written by Mac Engle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas Rangers baseball players are sounding off on rumors of the plastic stuff going in at their future home and brand new baseball stadium. If you want to know how they feel about synthetic turf just check out some of the quotes in the attached article. Heat, injuries, and sore backs are at the top of their minds when thinking about playing on synthetic turf. For the full story and player reactions, check out the full story below from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

#KeepItREAL

Synthetic Turf Failure at Big10 Championship Delays Game

Original article written by Morgan Moriarty, SBNation.com

The 2017 Big10 Championship had it’s share of drama this year, and it wasn’t just related to the score. Viewers and attendees witnessed the bizarre event at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana which stopped play for at least 10 minutes to make repairs.

Video of the incident and the full story can be seen here: