Seventeen NFL franchises play their home games on grass, while 15 play on artificial turf. It'll be your joint when you're on turf. " Before any surface is considered playable, the NFL employs the Clegg Impact Tester to evaluate if it is too hard, but no other safety criteria are measured.
The first indoor stadium was Philadelphia's Franklin Field, which opened in 1933. Since then, more than 1,000 games have been played without a loss of life due to football-related injuries. The NFL does not use helmets that provide less than $150,000 in coverage because its members believe that what is not visible cannot hurt you.
Artificial turf has become a common sight at sports facilities across the country. It's used by top college football teams such as Ohio State and Michigan as well as professional teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars. The NFL started using it in 1978 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Today, all but three teams in the league play on some type of turf field. Those remaining stadiums have natural grass.
The main advantage of artificial turf is its ability to be cleaned easily. This makes it suitable for uses where a clean sport is required, such as schools and hospitals. The grass can also be dyed any color you want. That allows coaches to practice indoors during cold weather seasons or allow players to wear pink gear in support of breast cancer awareness.
By 2020, 17 of the 31 NFL stadiums will be covered with conventional grass. Tretter's letter comes only weeks after the NFL was obliged to evaluate the artificial grass at MetLife Stadium, home of the Jets and Giants, after several high-profile players were hurt on the field during the season's first few weeks. The report concluded that the grass was responsible for their injuries.
The report also noted that two more games would be played on artificial surfaces this year. One was a preseason game between the Jaguars and Titans in Tennessee, where four players were injured (three seriously). The other was a regular-season game in Indianapolis between the Colts and Texans. Both teams use artificial turf at their respective facilities.
Artificial turf has been used by most major American sports teams since 2000. It is believed to be safer than natural grass because it does not get as wet when it rains, which should help prevent infections and injuries caused by playing on damp fields. In addition, there is less maintenance required from team owners who install the surface; instead, they hire a company that specializes in resurfacing old fields.
However, the NFL's report on MetLife Stadium showed that even with these improvements there are still risks involved with using artificial turf. They noted that three players had "injury events" on the field during the first week of games and another six suffered minor injuries. This means that out of 100 plays only one resulted in an injury severe enough to require medical attention.
Tretter stated, "Agronomically, natural grass field surfaces are conceivable everywhere." After more than a decade, Houston's NRG Stadium transitioned from natural grass to an artificial field in 2015, following player complaints over injury concerns. The move was made after only two seasons of using natural grass.
The Texans announced their intention to convert NRG Stadium to an artificial surface before they released their schedule for the 2015 season. The team claimed that injuries were the main reason for the change, but some players felt like they weren't being given a fair chance on the natural grass field. Agronomy professor Tretter said that while it is feasible to have a natural grass field, it is not feasible in most places due to the fact that you need to mow it regularly and replace part of its surface when it gets damaged.
Some owners may prefer to use artificial turf because it is easier to maintain and less likely to cause injuries. However, many players complain about the hardness of the field and fear that it will lead to more collisions.
Overall, only 17 out of the 32 NFL teams use natural grass, which is only half of their games. The others are played on artificial fields. Many experts believe that this shows that more and more owners are switching to the synthetic material because it is easier to maintain and less likely to cause injuries.