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How Much Does a Synthetic Turf Sports Field Cost?

There are many aspects to the cost of an artificial turf sports field. Field performance and longevity are important components in the decision-making of your synthetic turf sports field. Discover 9 tips to guide you through the sports turf field cost and decision process.

9 Tips to Plan and Budget for the Cost of a Synthetic Turf Sports Field

1. For an accurate cost estimate – pick the right team

So you’re planning for your new field. You’ve established a committee, surveyed the stakeholders, and started raising money. How much should you raise? How much should you budget? What about contingency? Have you considered lifecycle costs?

At this point, you need to call in the experts who will guide you through the project and towards an accurate estimate. You can start with a designer who is often a civil engineer or landscape architect. You can also start with a design build team who pairs your preferred synthetic turf field contractor and designer on the same team. This allows for the project to be viewed through different lenses so each facet can be considered. This is especially important if your project is complex and includes ancillary items like track improvements, fencing, fan amenities, and plans for future expansion of the facility.

Turf replacement projects are often more straightforward and can be handled by an experienced synthetic turf contractor. If the existing field is not experiencing any drainage issues and the project primarily includes the field, a field designer is likely not necessary.

2. Understand synthetic turf sports field warranties

When comparing synthetic turf products, it’s important to know what is covered in each warranty, as all warranties are not created equal. Each system component can have a different warranty and life expectancy. While most turf warranties last eight years, the turf on your field usually lasts longer if well-maintained. Other system components such as infills and pads may last several lifecycles if they are installed properly and maintained.

3. Seek one point of responsibility for your turf and base

The best way to construct a field is to have one company responsible for the turf and the base. This is the best possible scenario for the field owner. The alternative route includes separate contracts for the base contractor and the turf contractor. This creates a messy situation should anything happen to the base during the field’s warranty period. In order to remedy issues such as settling or drainage, the synthetic turf must be cut open, the issue addressed and then the turf put back together. The question of who pays for what gets complicated. To avoid this, we recommend one point of responsibility for your turf and base.

4. A shock pad can last 25 years

Shock pads provide a safe and high-performing synthetic turf sports field. The leading products on the market have a 25-year warranty. Shock pads add to the cost of your system and they do make it safer. The cost can be spread over a long time horizon as the product will add value and peace of mind well into the future.

5. Infills for synthetic turf sports fields

Infill is another key component for the system. The most common infill on the market is crumb rubber which is made from recycled car tires. While cost effective, this type of infill has no warranty. Infills made specifically for synthetic turf systems commonly have warranties of eight years which matches the turf warranty. Envirofill has a 16-year warranty which is the longest warranty of any infill on the market. It has been extensively tested and successfully reused in subsequent turf lifecycles. Read on to learn how this can benefit your project years from now. The fastest growing category of infills include natural products. These help a system play more like natural turf and can provide some relief to the heat buildup. If considering a natural infill for your estimate, take into account some additional infill is necessary to replace that which degrades.

6. Find trusted synthetic turf sports field builders

It’s essential to use a well-qualified sports field builder from the American Sports Builders Association’s Certified Field Builder list. A Certified Field Builder is exactly as it sounds: an individual that has been validated as qualified and proficient in the construction of a sports field, meeting standards set forth by the ASBA.

To become a CFB, there is a comprehensive exam, centered around the established benchmarks of quality for field construction and maintenance. By passing this exam, the builder has been certified to have “demonstrated a high level of expertise” in the construction of a field. As a field owner, by hiring a company that employs a CFB, you can have the peace of mind to know that your facility and your synthetic turf are in good hands. Search for a Certified Field Builder here.

7. Replacing your synthetic turf sports field – base remediation

Replacing your synthetic turf sports field begins with your contractor taking special care when removing the turf and infill not to damage the base and/or pad beneath. Hire companies that use equipment specifically designed to remove the turf without damaging the surface below. 

However, this is the best time to make any remediations to the base layer of your field. Testing, even prior to turf removal, is recommended to ensure drainage and planarity are still accurate, and avoid any surprises with the new turf surface down the road.

8. Reduce costs and waste with reusable synthetic turf infill

Selecting the right infill can reduce your disposal costs by 90%! In some parts of the country, disposal costs can run as high as $100,000 which could be a significant portion of your replacement project! This money could be better spent. Because the infill is such a significant portion of the project, the goal should be to select an infill that avoids the landfill when the synthetic turf sports field is replaced.

By weight, the infill represents about 90% of the system and will significantly impact the disposal fees. One way to avoid these fees is to select an infill that can be reclaimed and reused in the new turf. Some natural infills can also be used as top dressing on a natural grass field.

Envision a scenario where the infill can be reclaimed, set aside, and installed into the new turf saving significant dollars and avoiding 500,000+ pounds of material going into the landfill. Doesn’t that sound like an ideal scenario? That option exists when you select Envirofill as your infill of choice for your synthetic turf sports field.

9. The benefit of utilizing the lifecycle costs for a synthetic turf sports field

There are many ways to lower the cost of your synthetic sports turf field. The best way to lower costs is to think in terms of cost per year of use. The right products can help you get more years out of your field or be used for multiple turf lifecycles. This may include a higher cost upfront, but save you money throughout the life of your field. Motz infill products, Envirofill and Safeshell, are high-end products that focus on the long game costs, maintenance, longevity, and consistency of the surface of your synthetic turf sports field. While there is an upfront premium to choosing Envirofill or Safeshell the premiums are smaller over two lifecycles. 

One of the best ways to help you get the most out of your field is to apply proactive maintenance. Motz annual deep clean & field testing services protect, improve and help you get the most from your synthetic turf sports field. The service is an annual 5-step program engineered to functionally, hygienically, and aesthetically improve the surface of your synthetic turf sports field, maximize its lifespan, and address hazards to ensure the continued safety of your athletes, and create a championship field. When you think long-term it gives you the structure and the products you need to plan, budget, and estimate the care time needed to create a cost-effective synthetic turf sports field. The benefits of a lifecycle cost mindset will provide you with a winning strategy and the right products to create a high-performance sports field that will last the long game.

Do you have questions about costs related to synthetic turf sports field replacement? Connect with a Motz specialist to get your questions answered.

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