CITIES KEEPING ARTIFICIAL FIELDS LOCKED TO AVOID EXPENSIVE REPAIRS

  Image: Andrew Kuhn

Image: Andrew Kuhn

Brianna Calix, Merced Sun Star, March 5, 2017

EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:

It’s not unusual for cities to keep turf fields locked. Modesto fences and locks its synthetic turf soccer fields during non-operating hours, said Nathan Houx, a parks planning and development manager with the city of Modesto.

The fields aren’t like the city’s grass fields that are open for use at any time in community parks.

“A better comparison would be with a gym,” Conway said. “Cities don’t open up their gyms and walk away, leaving them unstaffed. When a gym is open, you have staff supervising the use to make sure it’s being used correctly, or you’ve got supervised teams playing on it.”

If the city left the fields unlocked, Conway said, there’s no doubt they would quickly deteriorate. And turf is expensive to repair.

“We must call someone to do the repair and reglue the turf,” he said. “It starts getting expensive, and we’re hiring an expert to do it.”