Costs for Synthetic Turf include:
- Ongoing maintenance
- Replacing lost infill
- New equipment
- Removal, hauling, landfill surcharges
- & Field replacement
PHYSICAL EQUIPMENT COSTS:
Equipment Cost Estimate example ($8,250-$82,000)
EXAMPLE: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY - $22,760/yr
REPLACEMENT & REMOVAL COSTS:
SYNTHETIC TURF FIELDS HAVE TO BE REPLACED EVERY 8-10 YEARS
Synthetic turf fields are extremely expensive to install, cost more than advertised to maintain, and typically last 7-10 years. At the end-of-life of a synturf field, there is costly and dangerous work to be done to remove of and properly dispose of the carpets.
"Because these materials tend to wear out over time, they must be replaced every 8-10 years for a cost of around $500,000"
The Sports Turf Managers Association suggests including the cost of replacement in your budget. "Plan on an approximate range of $6.50 to $7.80 per sq. ft. for the disposal and resurfacing of a synthetic field." This makes the cost or replacement for one football field (57,600 sq. ft) at least $374,400 - $449.280.
Source: A Guide to Synthetic and Natural Turfgrass for Sports Fields (Sports Turf Managers Association) (prepared in 2008 and updated in 2014)
COSTS FOR SYNTHETIC TURF DISPOSAL ALONE CAN RANGE FROM $45,000-$191,000 OR MORE
DEFECTIVE/FAILING ARTIFICIAL TURF: LAWSUITS
PennRecord.com, June 19, 2017
"A school district has filed a class action lawsuit against FieldTurf USA Inc., FieldTurf Inc. and FieldTurf Tarkett SAS, based in Georgia, alleging breach of contract, breach of warranty, design defect and product liability."
Voice of San Diego, April 13, 2017
"The turf company that has had problems throughout San Diego and the country has another sticky situation on its hands, and has turned to dumping loads of glue on weak fields to make them stronger."
NJ.com, March 23, 2017
Class Action Lawsuit Against FieldTurf by Neshannock Township School District, Pennsylvania
NJ.com, March 10, 2017
NJ.com, January 11, 2017
"The complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for New Jersey, is the third proposed class-action to be brought by customers in the state against FieldTurf in response to an NJ Advance Media investigation that detailed potential fraud."
"The investigation found FieldTurf and its executives for years earned ballooning profits as sales of its popular turf, Duraspine, skyrocketed, all the while knowing fields were falling apart and would not live up to marketing and advertising claims."
NJ.com, December 08, 2016
"The Newark school system has filed a class-action lawsuit against the nation's leading maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, alleging the company defrauded more than 100 public and private schools and municipalities in the state."
NJ.com, December 6, 2016
"Top lawmakers on Tuesday issued a sweeping call for accountability, including potential civil and criminal investigations as well as a class-action lawsuit, in response to allegations of fraud by the leading maker of artificial sports fields."
"The reactions came two days after a national investigation by NJ Advance Media revealed that, for years, FieldTurf sold high-end turf to towns and schools across the U.S. without disclosing that its executives knew the turf was falling apart and would not live up to marketing claims."
NJ.com, December 15, 2016
"The suit, filed on behalf of Carteret, claims FieldTurf sold the borough fields that failed to meet exaggerated promises and then stonewalled officials' complaints until warranties expired."
Forbes, December 15, 2016
"According to the suit, 'Plaintiff purchased six defective Synthetic Grass Fields, defined below, from FieldTurf between late 2006 and 2010, at a time when FieldTurf knew that its marketing claims and sales campaign were grossly exaggerated, and that the Synthetic Grass Fields were defective.' "
"U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez have urged the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation into FieldTurf’s conduct, noting the need for government officials to be 'vigilant against deception and misuse of taxpayer dollars.' "
WTHR, August 18, 2016
"Schools and universities around the country are now taking a closer look at their artificial turf fields. Some of them say the fields are falling apart and not lasting as long as expected, prompting lawsuits and concerns nationwide."
Sports Illustrated, December 12, 2016
"This month, NJ Advance Media released the results of its six-month investigation of a company called FieldTurf which, between 2006 and '12, peddled artificial playing surfaces made of something called DuraSpine to school districts and parks commissions. These things cost somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 apiece, and a great deal of the money came from the taxpayers of various municipalities. And the fields themselves wound up having the basic durability of mashed potatoes. Further, the investigation revealed that the company knew they were selling a defective product and kept, well, selling it."
WBUR, December 9, 2016
"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."
Forbes, December 8, 2016
"Top New Jersey lawmakers on Tuesday issued a sweeping call for accountability, including potential civil and criminal investigations as well as a class-action lawsuit, in response to allegations of fraud by the leading maker of artificial sports fields."
Forbes, December 4, 2016
“A report published today claims FieldTurf, the leading maker and supplier of artificial turf sports fields, essentially knew for many years they were selling a defective product.”
Voice Of San Diego, November 15, 2016
"Though customers paid $450,000 to $800,000 per field for 'the best' and 'the next generation of engineering excellence,' certain FieldTurf fields frayed, faded and shed after only a few football seasons, years before the eight-year warranty ran out."
US Recall News, November 2, 2016
"A controversy regarding the safety of tire crumb (a material found on many artificial turf playing fields) may lead to another large class action in the near future."
The Topeka Capital Journal, September 10, 2016
“Districts receive widely different prices to replace warrantied fields.”
Forbes, April 19, 2016
"Many towns are being ripped off by artificial turf fields. The fake plastic stuff doesn't last as long as advertised in many cases and school employees are lax in demanding accountability."
FOX 11, September 1, 2015
"Mark Hovatter, chief facilities executive for the LAUSD, told the newspaper that the district would spend between $500,000 and $800,000 to replace the high school fields this year while it seeks reimbursement from its contractors. The fields were expected to last between eight and 10 years."
Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2015
"Five high schools that had all-weather sports fields installed by the Los Angeles Unified School District during the last five years are replacing the turf because of what a district official says are defective materials."
"At Diego Rivera, which opened in 2011, former football coach Jim McElroy said, 'Pellets were melting big time. It looked like a bunch of gum all over the place.' "
Forbes, October 22, 2014
"Says Michael Tarantino, director of maintenance and operations for Poway Unified School District, and an at-large director for the Sports Turf Managers Association, 'I think you are seeing buyers remorse of artificial turf fields because communities quickly lose sight of the replacement costs associated with artificial turf. You wouldn't use artificial turn from an ROI (return on investment) point of view.' "
"One result has been fighting among field turf installers and their suppliers. For example, as reported in Ripoff Report, three years ago FieldTurf (the leader in artificial turf) filed a major lawsuit against its largest supplier - Royal TenCate based in Holland. By their own admission, at least 167 Fieldturf fields have failed because the synthetic grass fiber has degraded prematurely. "
Forbes, September 28, 2014
"Taxpayers have been getting hoodwinked by bogus analysis into thinking artificial turf fields are cheaper than natural grass."
"But the reality is that non-partisan studies have shown the exact opposite--natural grass fields are a bargain compared to artificial turf due to the huge costs taxpayers get stuck with to maintain and replace artificial fields after their warrantees expire."
The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2013
"In some cases, disputes over a replacement have escalated. Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tenn., has filed a suit in a county court to force FieldTurf to replace the turf that was installed in 2009. The suit says the school’s field began deteriorating by 2011, and alleges FieldTurf installed a defective surface even after learning of flaws that had caused other fields to fail."
SE Texas Record, June 11, 2012
"The Port Neches-Groves Independent School District has filed suit against the company that installed turf on its football field, alleging the turf began degrading and wearing down after only two years of use."