Karen Given, WBUR, December 9, 2016


This is a story about money. Correction: It’s a story about lots of money — mostly paid by taxpayers.

These fields cost $300,000 to $500,000 each. Fourteen-hundred of them were installed across the U.S. between 2005 and 2012. Chris Baxter and Matt Stanmyre estimate the fields brought in around $570 million in revenue — and that’s just for the turf. And at times, these projects were going through even as communities were laying off teachers and police officers.

"We’re not talking about books or school supplies. We’re not talking about a car. We’re talking about a half-million dollar or more turf field," Chris says. "We think that those taxpayers that paid those bills have a right to know the story behind this turf and what the company knew and what it has and hasn’t told them about the product."

"I think that’s the biggest reason why Chris and I felt compelled to pursue this story," Matt says. "Because we just felt like taxpayers had the right to know."

NJ Advance Media filed the first of what would be 40 public record requests. Eventually, they would obtain more than 5,000 pages of internal company records, emails, court filings and testimony. And they found something that more than a dozen attorneys in six states have told them appears to be deceptive advertising and fraud.