By Jack Turner
The sports world has been facing a polarizing debate recently, and it’s not about what you might think. The issue at hand? Grass.
Artificial grass and real grass both have many pros and cons, but I feel artificial turf is a much better alternative to real grass due to factors such as its durability and ability to survive harsh weather conditions. Unlike real grass, it is cost-effective. Although artificial turf may cost more initially, it will eventually save money because unlike real grass, it does not need to be watered, mowed, or fertilized. Real grass needs maintenance, including a seeding process, which is very time consuming and costs a lot of money. As a result, NFL teams usually prefer to lean towards implementing artificial turf.
Weather is another factor that affects both artificial turf and natural grass. Since a majority of the football season is played through the winter months, real grass is much more susceptible to damage during those months. As a result, money is lost re-leveling the stadium and providing maintenance to get it back to normal. This is especially bad in cities that get harsh winters such as Green Bay and New York. On the contrary, artificial turf stays the same all year round and can be used for playing fields with good conditions regardless of the weather.
Finally, there is a common misconception that artificial turf causes more injuries than real grass. This is a misconstrued statement because yes, some older versions of artificial turf were known to cause more injuries than real grass, but this is not the case with the turf used today. The artificial turf used today is much safer, but it is true that players are still slightly more susceptible to injuries by a tiny percentage. This is because most players grow up playing on uneven real grass and are not used to flat artificial grass when they play at a higher level. A solution to this would be switching all real grass to artificial grass starting at a high school level, allowing all athletes to adjust to artificial turf, solving the injury issue.