October 02, 2002

realgrass.: "it was like playing on a soft natural grass pitch, easy to stop sharply and shoot or cross the ball at speed. i'd have happily played on it for hours non-stop..." curtis fleming - middlesbrough fc & republic of ireland international soccer player

the dallas cowboys are the first nfl installation. for us amateurs, you can try it out at several different locations. has anyone played or seen this surface?

posted by lescour to other at 09:51 AM - 10 comments

I believe the Tampa Bay Devil Rays use it and a couple of other NFL stadia have added it this year (Philly?).

posted by yerfatma at 10:53 AM on October 02, 2002

I'm not sure if this is exactly the same stuff, but the University of Tulsa put something very similar, if not realgrass, in it's Stadium about a year or so ago (or maybe they're preparing to, not sure). Anyways, a friend of mine's dad was the head of football ops there (now at Ok State) and he had a sample of the stuff. The 'grass' was very soft, and the base for it was very spongy, seems like it would absorb a lot of impact. I would love to run around on a fielf of it barefoot. I've always hated astroturf, and can't wait until it's obsolete.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:50 AM on October 02, 2002

I wish i had this stuff in my yard. I hate mowing.

posted by corpse at 01:14 PM on October 02, 2002

What about sliding tackles and carpet burn? Any comments on that? (too lazy to visit the site)

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:19 PM on October 02, 2002

Judging from the sample I saw, wc2002, I would say that slide tackles would be almost more pleasant than real grass. Well, at least the grass in Oklahoma.

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:02 PM on October 02, 2002

It seems that most sports teams that used to play on artificial turf are replacing their turf with some form of this synthetic grass system. At the University of Illinois they use AstroPlay (IIRC) and it's supposed to be much softer and forgiving than AstroTurf. However, players seem to be slipping on the surface much more than usual. They also use grinded-up tires to provide the "padding" and it makes the endzones look really ugly and sometimes when a player falls a dust of rubber will come out of the surface.

posted by gyc at 03:10 PM on October 02, 2002

I've played indoor soccer on it (or something similar) at the Bladium in Alameda. It feels a little springy/bouncy if you're walking across it, but you don't notice it at all when you're running. It's a little softer than hitting than ground if you fall or get knocked down. There's a bedding of ground-up black rubber (tires?) that makes a little explosion when you cut or when the ball hits the ground. They have a similar surface (FieldTurf) at the Seahawks' new stadium in Seattle; I noticed the little explosions in the Sunday night game.

posted by kirkaracha at 07:00 PM on October 02, 2002

here's a rundown of some of the newer surfaces being used in the nfl. and this is a very nice pdf showing how it is constructed.

posted by lescour at 09:34 AM on October 03, 2002

(one factual note: Curtis is now at Crystal Palace, and has been since last year. But he gave us some great years on the grass that grows.)

posted by etagloh at 05:21 PM on October 03, 2002

etagloh: that wording is straight from realgrass. but nevertheless, i stand corrected. and while i'm admitting to my errors, my previous link to the rundown should have pointed here. and you can't deep link to dallascowboys.com (which i did in the fpp)

posted by lescour at 05:40 PM on October 03, 2002

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