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A question of turf...

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I had posted the article about the new Winnipeg stadium at another board and received what I thought was a lame reply. It seemed the typical Euro-snob answer to the age old question. How do football and soccer share a surface? The problems are primarily climatic and economic. This probably does not apply to much of the United States but is vital in Canada.

It's time for some creative solutions to the problem. These solutions could apply across the country if someone could come up with a cost effective idea.

First off there won't be a turf surface. Not cost effective and takes too much of a pounding for something that will undoubtedly be used by college and minor city teams as well. Factor in the climate and it's a non starter. Commonwealth groundskeepers in Edmonton are extremely protective of their surface and there isn't a whole lot you can do come October.

It costs roughly one million dollars to install a turf pitch. A FieldTurf surface can be installed from $600,000 to $1.2 million. The maintenance of a turf surface is nearly 4-5 times that of an artificial field.

It's becoming increasingly evident that the bias against artificial FieldTurf like surfaces is based more on attitude than fact. It was said that the men's NT didn't like FieldTurf, yet there were no complaints about Saprissa and we had played our best game there until the final game in Guatemala. There were plenty of complaints for the turf surfaces in Kingston and Edmonton.

FIFA is going full steam ahead on artificial surfaces. It is the only solution for many climatically challenged continents like Asia and Africa and countries like Canada.

So the question is... how do football and soccer economically share a field with no football lines on the soccer pitch.

There are fields in the US that use a turf/tray system - effective but extremely costly.

The FieldTurf in Ottawa did not have inlaid lines and used a removeable paint. Watched a woman's game not too long ago and the football lines were quite visible. Unless there is a new paint formulation this probably isn't the way to go.

Toronto Argos have a game day surface rubber infill surface that is rolled and unrolled for football games. Don't know if FIFA would approve this type of temporary surface.

Olympic Stadium has, I believe, the only FieldTurf tray system. It is removeable and perhaps could be laid over a football surface. The cons are it is not permanent and might not pass FIFA approval, the cost of two surfaces, and it might damage the underlying surface.

Now for all those engineering types out there it is time to put on your thinking caps. Come up with a cost effective solution. :)


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i agree danny. but chalk is difficult to remove clearly.

fieldturf is a great surface, and i LOVE playing on it. you know exactly where the ball will bounce, so you can more accurately judge your approach. once you are used to the height of the bounce you are set. in canada fieldturf is the only logical step. HOWEVER, soccer is VERY confusing to play on over top of football lines. just watch the kansas city wizards games. even the players play within the football lines. you can't ignore them.

a rollout surface is a good idea, but wouldn't be the top quality fieldturf required to meet fifa standards.

i guess i said a lot without offering a solution.

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I thought Fieldturf was developing (or testing) a mobile, interlocking panel surface. Not unlike what was used during the World Cup in the USA but with of course the Fieldturf product and not natural grass. That would be handy, certainly.

Winnipeg Stadium has advertising sections of the turf which are pretty much vecro'd down. For speciel events patchs can be made up and put in place (to the event sponsor's spec). As has been mentioned I don't know if that's practical on the largest scale but it is a thought.

Seems like Fieldturf is advancing something new every year so who knows? Maybe quality interchangable-rollout-surfaces aren't that far off. Would sure help out things with the York project.

And on the thought of rollout-surfaces and York Stadium, I'd offer that if a field surface along this line is developed than the "base" must be structured for international football. Let the Argos play on the overlayed carpet. Their game dosen't need FIFA approval and building a stadium for international football without an approved playing surface is beyond stupid.

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