DAYTON, Tenn. — It’s almost time for whistle blowing and game ball throwing.
Sports games are fun to watch, but it’s what they play on that can really make a difference: turf fields.
Making artificial grass here in Dayton since 2003, TenCate‘s work can be found at both Rhea County High School and Cleveland High School.
Vice President Matt Stubblefield says hard work from his 200 employees makes these fields possible.
“The people are our strength,” says Stubblefield.
The process behind it starts out with a base resin that comes from companies like Exxon.
But the turf that comes from this plant is unique because of its custom colors.
“Being able to have consistency and control of those colors so they’re repeatable every time,” says Stubblefield.
Which is exactly what Cleveland High School chose to do. With our SkyView camera, you can see the end zones and sidelines painted with a shade of blue, designed specifically for their field.
“There’s no other field with that color in the world,” says Kevin Guffey, Senior Vice President of Sports Operations.
The next step to making the turf is separating long lines of fibers, and then twisting them onto this spool.
Every lost strand of fiber is recycled back into the same small pellets it started out as.
Once each spool is complete, they either make their way to boxes to be shipped out or go straight into a blanket of woven turf.
“The weaving is a new way of producing a carpet, and it’s exactly what it sounds like – it’s weaving the same as you weave a piece of fabric for a shirt,” says Stubblefield.
The final step is rolling it up and transferring it to the fields to be glued and filled with rubber pellets.
Guffey says their woven turf is safer for players, because of the diamond pattern it’s made into.
“It’s going to be very consistent, which also makes it safer the end field is one of the primary ways you protect against head injuries. You know that’s a big deal now with sports field concussions,” says Guffey.
Giving the players you enjoy watching a chance to give it their all during the game.
Coming up next week, we’ll dive deeper into what NFL team TenCate installed their woven Iron Turf into their practice field.