The headline on ESPN.com today reads: “Notre Dam Stadium to Feature Artificial Turf” .
We at Growing Green Grass respect Notre Dame’s decision to do as they please, but the reason for the change must be challenged.
Graduation in May is being blamed for a poor field in the fall. A field damaged by graduation May can be re-sodded or even re-seeded and be in perfect condition within weeks. Notre Dame being unable to achieve perfect condition is not the grass field’s fault. It is a simple management issue. Improved management approaches arise daily. Technology is surging in the natural grass industry: stability/ reinforcement, improved genetics, lights to grow grass in total darkness and cold, etc, etc. Any of these tools could have served as tools to help the field management staff as cheaper alternatives to artificial turf.
Again… it is Notre Dame’s decision to do as they please with their field. But blaming graduation in May for a poor quality field in the fall is just an excuse.
This response comes from Growing Green Grass because that excuse is damaging to the every grass field in the world. That excuse makes it seem that no grass field can survive extra use. The excuse makes managing grass fields at the grass roots level seem impossible! How can soccer clubs, little leagues, parks and recreation, etc with small budgets even have a good grass field when Notre Dame can not.
The fact is that grass fields around the world sustain 10x the use and wear that Notre Dame Stadium sustains in 1 year. And hard working sports field managers produce high quality grass, even in the north, with that use and wear. This story from the Las Vegas Review Journal highlights the success of one of those hard working Sports Field Managers. Kudos to Kevin Moses for his hard work!!! (and thank you to Darian Daily for sharing the link on Facebook as well!)
We wish Notre Dame all the best in their endeavors. But again, it’s not the existing grass field’s fault that you want to make a change to artificial.