Different Types of Turf for Your Sports Complex

Different Turfs and Their Benefits for Your Sports Complex

Long gone are the days when regular grass was the only option you had for a sports complex playing surface. With the invention of artificial turf, many sports complex owners opted for artificial turf for their playing surfaces. As the market expanded, more manufacturers and R&D teams created new types of turf specifically as a playing surface. Today there are dozens of turfs that you can use for your sports complex — the question is, which is best for you? Today, Sports Facility Management will discuss the different types of turf.


Perhaps the most popular name in artificial turf, AstroTurf was the original artificial turf surface invented in 1966. While innovative for their time, AstroTurf was a very hard surface with very little flexibility and padding. Many of the misconceptions people have about artificial turf come from this older technology. However, AstroTurf has developed their technology in major ways since the release of their original turf. Today, they offer a large list of turf series that boast significant safety and performance improvements over their original design. In fact, many professional NFL stadiums use AstroTurf to this day.

Field Turf

Field turf is a much newer artificial surface made to mimic the performance of natural grass. Field turf is the product that is most often used in professional sports facilities. This turf is made from polyethylene blades and crumb rubber to soften the surface, with sand and drainage piped beneath the field. Field turf is a great choice for a safe, low-maintenance playing surface at your sports complex.

Natural Grass Turf

A number of professional sports complexes still maintain natural grass surfaces for their fields. According to a survey of NFL players in 2010, over 90% of players preferred natural grass to artificial turf as they thought artificial turf was more likely to shorten their careers. However, there have been multiple long-term studies showing that grass was actually more dangerous than artificial turf if it is not maintained well. If you are less likely to keep a full-time field maintenance worker or crew at your sports complex dedicated solely to turf maintenance, this may be more trouble than it is worth.

Unsure Which Surface You Should Install at Your Sports Complex?

The expert team at Sports Facility Management can help you to design the ideal sports complex for your needs. Whether it is choosing the right playing surface or providing program development and marketing leadership, SFM has the solutions for success your sports complex needs. Contact our team at 727-474-3845 to learn more.