Dome field advantage?

In this space last month I mentioned the growing popularity of synthetic turf and its increasing prevalence at school and municipal facilities. Another growing trend in the sports field industry is structures. Thanks in part to increased field use demands, facilities across the country are adding inflatable bubbles, frame-supported structures and even permanent enclosures to keep their fields playable year-round. The fact that the increased popularity of domes mirrors that of artificial turf is no surprise – synthetic turf and sports field structures have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship since their inception. When the Astrodome opened in 1965, it became the world’s first multipurpose, domed stadium. The roof was transparent to allow sunlight to reach the natural grass field, but soon fans and players complained about the glare during afternoon games. Painting the roof black eliminated the glare, but killed off all the grass. Enter synthetic turf. The grass was replaced with a material called Chemgrass which, in honor of its installation at the Astrodome, was renamed AstroTurf – and the rest is history. Decades later, just as there are synthetic turf options to suit any sport and budget, there are also myriad structure options for facilities of all sizes. See page 20 to learn more about maintaining indoor fields.

Happy New Year!

Wow, welcome to 2012! Hope you’re getting geared up for your most successful season yet. We at SportsField Management have big plans for this year. Our print magazine will be arriving in your mailboxes 12 times this year, and chock full of great content from industry veterans as well as some fresh faces. We’ll also be including some special supplements on topics you care about most, including pest control and water conservation, so be on the lookout for upcoming issues. We’ll also be continuing From the Field, our popular, biweekly e-newsletter covering all the latest industry news. Of course if you miss anything, you can find all of our print content (and more) at; and don’t forget to check out our forum site, www.SportsFieldSite, where you can chat with other industry pros. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions, comments or suggestions – I love hearing from you.

Cheers to 2012!

Katie Meyers