Penn State University and FieldTurf, the world leader in sports surfacing, have partnered to develop the world’s first facility dedicated to sports surface research, with a five-year commitment that will center around research on synthetic turf, running tracks and indoor sports surfaces. This research collaboration is expected to further accelerate safety within the synthetic sports surfacing industry.
The new Center for Sports Surface Research will be an intercollegiate program managed within the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and headed by Andrew McNitt, an associate professor of soil science. McNitt is regarded as a pioneer in the world of sports surface research, particularly as it relates to natural and synthetic turf, and conducts research relating to athletic field surface characterization and golf green construction and maintenance. He has been honored nationally by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation, the Crop Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Sports Turf Managers Association. McNitt also currently serves as the technical advisor to the NFL Groundskeepers Association and is active with the Sports Turf Managers Association.
A significant number of professional sports and collegiate groundskeepers are products of Penn State’s prestigious turfgrass science department, which is considered one of the nation’s finest.
“Our partnership with Penn State brings the global synthetic turf leader together with the global research leader in all types of turf,” said Joe Fields, chief executive officer of FieldTurf. “The original inspiration for FieldTurf was to provide a surface that would enable athletes to attain maximum performance while minimizing injuries, and we believe that this partnership will help ensure that we continue to lead our industry in developing surfaces that deliver unequaled performance and safety to the athletes that we serve.”
“Penn State is excited about the formalization of our research relationship with FieldTurf,” said Bruce McPheron, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Together, I believe we can improve the safety of all those participating in recreational activities, from the occasional softball player and school-aged children in physical education classes to collegiate and professional athletes. FieldTurf’s commitment to quality research is commendable and the college is looking forward to a productive future.” In addition to McNitt’s experience and body of work, the center will also incorporate the research endeavors of other Penn State faculty and students. “By combining the resources of Penn State’s faculty, staff and students with the access to additional academic areas of the university for research, we expect to achieve an unprecedented opportunity and breeding ground to take developments within the artificial turf industry to an even higher and safer level,” Fields said.
FieldTurf is a global market leader in synthetic sports fields with more than 3,000 fields installed, along with pet, residential, commercial and municipal landscaping solutions, playground surfacing and golf and tennis products. FieldTurf is part of Tarkett Sports, the world’s largest entity in the sports and landscape surfacing industries. Tarkett Sports manufactures a myriad of performance sports flooring products including synthetic and hardwood basketball, volleyball and gymnasium flooring; squash and racquetball courts; and the Beynon brand of high-performance indoor and outdoor running tracks.
Enhances Industry Leadership of Environmental Benefiting Products Which Reduce Water Usage Up to 70%, Require No Fertilizers or Pesticides, Provide Superior Drainage and Unmatched Durability With the Realistic Look and Feel of Natural Grass.
PEACHTREE CITY, GA (MAY 4, 2009) – Expanding its industry leading portfolio of environmental benefiting products, FieldTurf introduces two new synthetic turf lines which are 100% recyclable. FieldTurf APT™ (All Purpose Turf), ideal for pet owners, playgrounds or high traffic areas; and FieldTurf Lush™, a low-infill product specifically developed for applications around pools, rooftops and areas where lower infill is desired. Both products feature FieldTurf’s new, proprietary Ecobac backing process which provides, and in many cases, exceed all of the benefits of traditional polyurethane backing systems while enabling the 100% recyclability.
“Almost 13,000 satisfied customers in high quality pet, residential, commercial, municipal and playground landscaping have come to know FieldTurf for our environmentally friendly products which reduce water usage up to 70%, require no fertilizers or pesticides, provide superior drainage and unmatched durability with the realistic look and feel of natural grass,” stated Richard Spanjian, President and General Manager of FieldTurf’s Greenscapes Division. “We weren’t satisfied and pushed to achieve 100% recyclability. While these environmental aspects were our primary drivers, we also evolved our production capabilities resulting in tighter stitch formations which yielded fuller, more lush and even more realistic looking grass products. Field Turf APT™ and FieldTurf Lush™ are not only better for the environment, they’re even better looking!”
FieldTurf APT™ (All Purpose Turf), available in two color options – all field green and a dual-color blend of field green/olive, is constructed of FieldTurf’s proprietary Duraspine™ monofilament fiber which stands up to the most challenging of durability tests like pets, playgrounds and high-traffic areas. FieldTurf Lush™ is comprised of the dual-color blend of field green/olive Duraspine™ plus an olive “texturized” thatch layer which most closely simulates the look and feel of natural grass. This thatch layer reduces requirements for sand or sand/rubber mix infill between the blades, which makes this product ideal for applications around pools, rooftops and areas where lower infill is desired. Both FieldTurf APT™ and FieldTurf Lush™ are 100% poly-ethylene fiber construction, containing no nylon, and feature the proprietary Ecobac 100% polypropylene backing layer.
“By not using nylon fibers in our products, we can offer the most realistic feel in the marketplace. It’s not scratchy like many competitors. Consumers sometimes have trouble telling the difference versus natural turf,” added Mr. Spanjian. “Unlike competitive ‘low-infill’ offerings, our Ecobac is superior in structural stability and drainage. These are just the first two of several superior synthetic turf products to be introduced in the coming months. We are continually striving to improve our product benefits for our customers and distributors.”
FieldTurf offers industry leading engineering and manufacturing resources, unparalleled leasing and financing capabilities, and leads the synthetic turf industry with regard to setting higher environmental standards. FieldTurf is the global market leader in terms of synthetic sports fields with over 3,100 fields installed. Additionally, FieldTurf has attained over 12,000 satisfied customers in high quality pet, residential, commercial and municipal landscaping solutions, playground surfacing, and has a complete range of golf and tennis products. FieldTurf synthetic turf customers enjoy the benefits of significantly reduced water consumption, the elimination of fertilizer and pesticides, superior durability and drainage and a product that looks and feels real. The positive environmental impact of FieldTurf provides the added benefit of LEED building contributions, FieldTurf is part of Tarkett Sports, a Division of the Tarkett Group. Tarkett Sports is the largest entity in the sports and landscape surfacing industries. Included within Tarkett Sports portfolio is an impressive range of performance sports flooring products. This product range includes: synthetic and hardwood basketball; volleyball and gymnasium flooring; squash and racquetball courts; floor protection and covering systems; weight room flooring; and high performance indoor and outdoor running tracks, featuring Beynon track surfaces. All of Tarkett Sports surfaces are developed, produced and installed with a concentration on sustainability and a commitment to protecting the environment, providing additional LEED contribution opportunities for customers. The company calls this focus on sustainability and the environment ‘Environmental Intelligence’ and all company personnel strive to exemplify this philosophy in all aspects of the business.
CALHOUN, GA (March 24, 2009) – In response to growing market demand for synthetic turf and in keeping with the company’s mantra of innovation, FieldTurf has opened a new manufacturing facility in Calhoun, GA. The 455,000 square foot facility allows the world leader in sports surfacing to better focus on innovation and excellence at every step of the manufacturing process. FieldTurf’s reputation for putting quality first is the primary reason that the company has installed more than 3000 sports fields across North America, making FieldTurf the undisputed industry leader.
“From tufting, to coating, to full QC inspections, right on to shipping and installation, the new equipment in the Calhoun plant and the additional space work together to further ensure that FieldTurf is the market leader in quality product ? whether the customer is an NFL team or a high school,” said Michael MacNeil, SVP Operations for FieldTurf.
The new Calhoun facility is four times the size of the previous FieldTurf plant – a facility which the company built only three years ago, but quickly outgrew as volumes continuously outpaced the company’s aggressive sales projections. The new facility has an annual production capacity of 630,000,000 square feet of turf – enough to supply over 7,800 football fields per year. The new coating line that is at the heart of the Calhoun plant allows FieldTurf to set a new standard for turf quality and durability. The world’s most trusted turf system just got even better.
FieldTurf CEO Joe Fields added, “The fact that we can make a major investment in a new plant and facilities when most US industries are scaling back or closing facilities speaks volumes to the strength of the FieldTurf brand, the strength of the FieldTurf business and, importantly, to the strength of the FieldTurf balance sheet. We will continue to invest in business opportunities that enable us to further solidify our global market leadership position in sports surfaces.”
FieldTurf Tarkett, a Division of the Tarkett Group, is the largest entity in the sports surfacing industry and offers unparalleled leasing capabilities, engineering, and manufacturing resources, while leading the turf industry on setting higher environmental standards. In addition to its world-renowned FieldTurf and Prestige brands of artificial turf, FieldTurf Tarkett provides an equally impressive range of sports flooring products that include synthetic and hardwood basketball, volleyball and gymnasium flooring, squash and racquetball courts, floor protection and covering systems, and weight room flooring. Also in the range of FieldTurf Tarkett products are high performance indoor and outdoor running tracks including the Beynon track surfaces, playground surfacing, commercial and residential landscaping, and a complete range of tennis and golf surfaces. All of FieldTurf Tarkett surfaces are developed, produced and installed with a concentration on sustainability and a commitment to protecting the environment. The company calls it ‘Environmental Intelligence’ and lives by this principle in every way.