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Tampa Bay Rays Installing New Field Surface for 2011 Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 28 January 2011 08:34

Tropicana Field

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced that they have begun installation of a new AstroTurf field surface at the 1.1 million square foot Tropicana Field.

The Rays have played on synthetic turf surfaces since their inaugural season in 1998.

The new playing surface installation at Tropicana Field has already begun and will be ready for play when the Rays open the season against the Baltimore Orioles on April 1st.

AstroTurf is the Official Synthetic Turf for Major League Baseball and is also used by the Toronto Blue Jays.

The field will be AstroTurf GameDay Grass™ 3D60H. GameDay Grass, in an independent study at Michigan State University and funded by NFL Charities, was determined to perform more like natural grass than other synthetic surface tested.

According to AstroTurf, it also features the innovative, fully-tested Horseshoe fiber. The Horseshoe shape, an Omega or "C", with a dual-column design, imparts unrivaled mechanical memory to the fiber. The fiber remains "upright" longer. The Horseshoe fiber continues to spring back to its original configuration, providing players with a grass-like, uniform, predictable playing field.

An upright fiber has the best aesthetics and playability.

  • Fibers that tend to lay over, wear out sooner. The Horseshoe is thicker and stronger, not just at the spine. This creates a more durable field.
  • The Horseshoe fiber is made with the "XQ" polymer. It is tough, but not on athletes. The XQ polymer has been used successfully for years around the globe, and when in combination with proper field fiber density and infill height, has never failed. The same cannot be said for the many failures associated with non-QX polymer, "spined" field fields, especially in high UV areas.
  • Light is properly reflected, resulting in better looking field, both live an on film.
  • Ball roll is similar in performance to natural grass.
  • Low slide resistance is assured, eliminating rug burns.
  • Footing is uniform and predictable.
  • Cleats penetrate and "release" properly for good biomechanical function.

In addition to the strength of the fiber, the AstroTurf 3D60H system features 60 ounces of fiber per square yard, the most of any synthetic surface.

Further enhancing the durability and safety of the field is the proprietary RootZone, a dense sub-layer of nylon fibers which act as an infill stabilizer system to prevent migration and splash of the rubber granule infill.

Many collegiate and high school teams, as well as municipalities, are making the change to AstroTurf® baseball fields, all of which have the Major League Baseball endorsement. In addition to Toronto, some of those include Wichita State, Duke, Kansas, James Madison University, and Wake Forest.

Source: Tampa Bay Rays, AstroTurf


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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