Does Superbowl Turf Need to Perform Better?
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Does Superbowl Turf Need to Perform Better?

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The Superbowl is, without question, the most popular sporting event in the United States. In fact, according to ESPN, the top three most watched programs in the history of American television have ...

The Superbowl is, without question, the most popular sporting event in the United States. In fact, according to ESPN, the top three most watched programs in the history of American television have been the Superbowls of 2012, 2010, and 2013, respectively. Viewers tune in to see the best teams in the nation perform at the top of their game. They watch the players, the coaches, and even the advertisements, but arguably one of the most important components of any game remains seen but unnoticed: the turf.

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    Does Superbowl Turf Need to Perform Better? Does Superbowl Turf Need to Perform Better? Document Transcript

    • cwspo rt st urf .co m http://cwspo rtsturf.co m/blo g/superbo wl-turf-need-perfo rm-better/ Does Superbowl Turf Need to Perform Better? Keith Kitchen T he Superbowl is, without question, the most popular sporting event in the United States. In f act, according to ESPN, the top three most watched programs in the history of American television have been the Superbowls of 2012, 2010, and 2013, respectively. Viewers tune in to see the best teams in the nation perf orm at the top of their game. T hey watch the players, the coaches, and even the advertisements, but arguably one of the most important components of any game remains seen but unnoticed: the turf . Superbowl Turf Needs T he turf used during each Superbowl depends entirely on the stadium. For instance, most of these games are conducted in warmer climates, which may cause the stadiums to use dif f erent turf than those that are held in cooler areas. Likewise, many championship games are held in domes, which support artif icial turf better than natural grass. Domes vs. Open St adiums Superbowl XLVIII is making waves as the f irst to be hosted in a non-domed stadium in a cold weather climate. Normally, the Superbowl must be held in a domed stadium in an area with an average temperature of 50 degrees or higher, but this rule was waived in order to commemorate the opening of the MetLif e Stadium, which is the most expensive stadium in the history of American f ootball. It utilizes UBU-Intensity Series S5-M Synthetic Turf . T his turf utilizes pellets to mimic the f eel of dirt rather than the once typical concrete base. Many domed stadiums use this or a similar product. Likewise, more open air stadiums are shying away f rom natural grass due to the longevity of turf . Preparing Turf f or the Superbowl
    • When preparing turf f or the Superbowl, groundskeepers must keep three basic ideas in mind. T hese help them choose the best turf f or the biggest event of the year. Minimizing Injuries t o Players A concrete base can cause severe injuries during a sport that is already rif e with physical harm. Players have been known to suf f er concussions and broken bones that could have possibly been prevented had the base of the f all been cushioned. Likewise, rough, plastic turf can cause scratches and rashes to players, which are unnecessary. T he best turf is that which utilizes synthetic or natural dirt to create a sof ter f all. Also, turf that adopts the consistency of grass rather than the dif f icult nature of plastic creates f ewer annoyances f or players who have other things to worry about. Improving Durabilit y T he best turf is that which does not have to be replaced on a regular basis. Football games are rough on the surf ace of every stadium regardless of its turf . However, the best turf withstands the abuse caused by a competitive game. T his saves time, money, and f rustration. Keeping Maint enance Cost s Low It is well known that natural grass f ields require a great deal of maintenance. Well bef ore the end of each season, rough patches in f ields are not just eye-sores. T hey also create an unevenness that can af f ect the outcome of the game. T hose in charge must look to the bottom-line, and they know that the right turf can be the dif f erence in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ef f ects of Turf on a Championship Game T he most important aspect of how well turf perf orms is how it af f ects the game itself . In the past, there have been major catastrophes that were narrowly averted, thanks completely to the surf ace of the f ield. T here have been games in which sod was removed f rom high school stadiums to replace the damaged grounds or where sawdust was belatedly sprinkled atop the turf , and then painted green in hopes to look more presentable. T hese options are not ideal to say the least. Also, they represent a lack of planning.
    • Ease of Play Players roundly state that artif icial turf is pref erable to natural grass. Even f reshly laid sod gets damaged quickly, making players lose their f ooting when the terrain becomes uneven. Outdoor grass becomes muddy with any precipitation, whereas turf keeps its f orm. In most cases, grass can be very slick. T his is especially treacherous f or kickers who need an even surf ace to be accurate with f ield goals and extra points. Weat her Concerns T he right turf is no trouble in the case of bad weather, but the wrong turf or natural grass can be a serious issue. If ice or snow invades the stadium, groundskeepers must use heaters and blowers to move the game along. T he wrong turf or grass can be severely damaged by these devises, potentially creating more damage along the way. T his is especially important during Superbowl XLVIII. With variations in weather that could range f rom a wintry mix with below f reezing temperatures to a sunny 50 degree day, the turf has to be able to accommodate everyone, including those watching f rom home.