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Throughout history, some stadiums in football, baseball, and even soccer have featured both a grass field and an artificial turf field.  This is NOT a debate about which is better: grass or turf (Grass is obviously better!).  This is more about which stadium is more associated with a specific playing surface during a specific time period.

 

Astrodome in Grass (and dirt infield) (1965) - This stadium is why artificial turf was created in the first place.  Players were blinded by the glass roof and grass died from the lack of sunlight.  Still strange to realize that the Astrodome had grass.  The early Astroturf years also kept an all-dirt infield but soon switched to dirt sliding pads, a featured most associated with most baseball stadiums that had Astroturf, with Toronto's Roger Centre (formerly Skydome) being the last holdover before switching to an all-dirt infield.  Nowadays, Several modern indoor/retractable roof stadiums, such as the University of Arizona Stadium where the NFL's Cardinals play, can now grow grass.

astro_top.jpg

 

Candlestick Park in Astroturf (1971-1978) – This stadium with Astroturf always looked weird as well as washed out. Imagine if this was kept by time Joe Montana and Jerry Rice were on the 49ers.  Can't find a photo of 49ers during this era but found a YouTube clip of a Vikings @ 49ers from the 70s.

 

cand08901.jpg

 

 

 

Comiskey Park with an Astroturf infield (1969-1975)   Can anyone else think of a stadium that featured a grass outfield combined with an Astroturf infield or vise versa.  Even more weird was that a stadium that was around prior to the 1960s would do something like this.  Astroturf is more associated with the Cookie Cutter stadiums from the 1960s thru the 1990s.

 

B8Ocv8DCcAAaXLJ.jpg

 

Angels @ White Sox from 1974

 

 

Veterans Stadium in Nexturf (2001-2003).  Astroturf was becoming obsolete in the 2000s as newer and more grass-life artificial surfaces, such as Fieldturf, were now available.  Nexturf was another option, but unlike Fieldturf it never caught on due to how difficult the playing surface was.  A 2001 preseason game between the Eagles and Ravens was actually cancelled because the Ravens refused to play on the turf.  I associated this stadium more with the original green carpet.

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Giants Stadium in grass (2000-2002) - Most of this stadium’s history was played on an artificial surface, from Astroturf from 1976-1999 to Fieldturf from 2003 to it’s last season.  Still strange that this stadium once had grass despite fielding a Super Bowl appearing team (2000 Giants) and a memorable MNF game (Monday Night Miracle between Jets and Dolphins).

 

2000 NY Giants NFL Films

 

 

Dolphins @ Jets from 2000

 

 

Foxboro Stadium in Astroturf (1971-1990).  This stadium had more seasons in Astroturf than grass, but I’m more used to seeing this stadium with grass.    Didn’t help that the Patriots were mostly awful during this period (hard to forget since the team’s dominance since 2001)

 

1985 Patriots NFL Films

 

 

Soldier Field in Astroturf (1971-1987) – So weird to see the Bears play home games on Astroturf.   Too young to actually remember the 85 Bears as I was in diapers.   If it weren’t for the famed columns, it would almost pass as a different stadium. 

 

Walter Payton highlights

 

 

Tropicana Field in Astroturf (1998-2000) – This stadium has had Fieldturf for so long that it’s easy to forget that this stadium had the original green carpet as a playing surface.

trop701.jpg

 

Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field in grass (2000-2002)  The final years of this ballpark (as the Great American Ballpark was being built) were played on grass but the 70s Big Red Machine teams and the 1990 Reds team that won the WS had to play on Astroturf.

cinergy725.jpg

 

Paul Brown Stadium in grass (2000-2003) – More used to this stadium with Fieldturf and that the Bengals played on Astroturf at Riverfront Stadium beforehand. 

 

Orange Bowl in Polyturf (1970-1975) – So weird that the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins played their home games on artificial turf.  I always had assumed that the Dolphins always played their home games on grass.

 

1972 Dolphins NFL films

 

 

M&T Bank Stadium in Artificial Turf (Sportexe Momentum Turf) (2003-2015) – More used to the Ravens playing their home games on grass.

 

Toss-ups

Arrowhead Stadium - Unlike the Bears, 49ers, Dolphins, & Patriots, I'm old enough to remember when the Chiefs still played on Astroturf but switch to grass in 1994 (possibility to protect an aging Joe Montana, who still something left in the tank).  But the Chiefs have played on grass for so long now it easy to forget that they played home games on artificial turf.

 

Royals/Kauffman Stadium - With the recent renovations and grass playing field since 1995, this stadium has aged quiet well despite the teams often playing poorly (except for the Pennant-winning teams of 2014 & 2015, with the latter winning it all).  But for older Royal fans, this stadium may be more associated with the playoff teams of the 70s and 80s led by George Brett on an Astroturf surface.

 

Busch Memorial Stadium - This stadium original had grass but switched to Astroturf in the 70s and switched back to grass in 1996.  The Cardinals appeared in 3 World Series in the 1980s (winning it all in 1982).  This stadium may had been the only Cookie Cutter stadium that aged better during its final years when the team was managed by Tony LaRussa and fielded winning teams. 

 

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2 hours ago, disman00911 said:

Astrodome in Grass (and dirt infield) (1965) - This stadium is why artificial turf was created in the first place.  Players were blinded by the glass roof and grass died from the lack of sunlight.  Still strange to realize that the Astrodome had grass.

 

From all that I have read, the many rectangular plastic panels that lined the Astrodome's roof were originally transparent and let in enough sunlight to enable grass to thrive inside the stadium.  Unfortunately, that transparency also caused lots of glare that was tough on players' eyes and particularly hampered their ability to track batted balls.  A short time after the Astrodome began to be used for baseball games, all of those panels on the roof received a coat of paint.  The paint job put an end to sunlight-induced glare inside the Astrodome, but also caused the grass to die from starvation of sunlight, thus necessitating the development of an artificial playing surface for that stadium.

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6 hours ago, disman00911 said:

 

 

 

Comiskey Park with an Astroturf infield (1969-1975)   Can anyone else think of a stadium that featured a grass outfield combined with an Astroturf infield or vise versa.  Even more weird was that a stadium that was around prior to the 1960s would do something like this.  Astroturf is more associated with the Cookie Cutter stadiums from the 1960s thru the 1990s.

 

 

 

Wow!  I had no idea this happened.  Comiskey is #2 on the list of ballparks I regret being old enough to have gone to but did not (Tiger Stadium #1).  I'm not old enough to have gone in 1975 but I'd have been really upset to see the carpet in one of those old ballparks.  Yikes.

 

And I actually have been in the presence of a grass outfield and a turf infield.  I don't recall the name of the facility but it was the Royals spring training home in the 1980s, in or near Fort Myers, Florida. I remember thinking it looked really strange.

 

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@OnWis97, I do not know whether the Royals combined an artificial turf infield with a grass outfield at any spring training facility in or near Fort Myers.  However, I do remember the Royals having that particular setup for at least the main field at their spring training site in the late 1980s and early 1990s -- Baseball City Stadium in Haines City, Florida (located along the stretch of Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando), which was originally integrated with an amusement park in a short-lived complex called Boardwalk and Baseball.  I learned of and saw this unusual configuration solely via television; in 1989, NBC aired a preseason All-Star Softball Game that was played at Baseball City Stadium's main field.

 

Speaking of the late 1980s and early 1990s, ESPN devoted many Sunday evenings in the winter and spring months of those years to live college baseball games, and I have vague memories of at least one college baseball park with synthetic turf in the infield and grass in the outfield hosting at least one of those ESPN-televised games.

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I don't have pictures, but how about the few years QPR spent playing on artificial turf at Loftus Road?

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Turf infield with a grass outfield is not wildly uncommon at the collegiate level. Hell, a couple of the fields we play on at the local complex when we get rained out at our home park are that way. It’s a bit of a mess — you’re not supposed to wear metal spikes on the turf, but I’m not sending an outfielder out there in turf shoes — but I certainly understand why.

 

On the turf soccer side, Luton’s plastic pitch is also pretty noteworthy (though one could argue that’s their “right” field).

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5 hours ago, OnWis97 said:

 

Wow!  I had no idea this happened.  Comiskey is #2 on the list of ballparks I regret being old enough to have gone to but did not (Tiger Stadium #1).  I'm not old enough to have gone in 1975 but I'd have been really upset to see the carpet in one of those old ballparks.  Yikes.

 

And I actually have been in the presence of a grass outfield and a turf infield.  I don't recall the name of the facility but it was the Royals spring training home in the 1980s, in or near Fort Myers, Florida. I remember thinking it looked really strange.

 

 

John Ducey Park/Telus Field in Edmonton known for turf infield and grass outfield.

 

http://www.littleballparks.com/Stadium/2004/Edmonton/Edmonton.htm

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16 hours ago, crashcarson15 said:

Turf infield with a grass outfield is not wildly uncommon at the collegiate level. Hell, a couple of the fields we play on at the local complex when we get rained out at our home park are that way. It’s a bit of a mess — you’re not supposed to wear metal spikes on the turf, but I’m not sending an outfielder out there in turf shoes — but I certainly understand why.

 

On the turf soccer side, Luton’s plastic pitch is also pretty noteworthy (though one could argue that’s their “right” field).

We've got a field here like that too; grass outfield, FieldTurf infield, and the only dirt is at home plate and the pitcher's mound.

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On 5/27/2020 at 11:57 AM, disman00911 said:

Tropicana Field in Astroturf (1998-2000) – This stadium has had Fieldturf for so long that it’s easy to forget that this stadium had the original green carpet as a playing surface.

trop701.jpg

 

I was 10 years old for their first season and I loved their field for deciding to use a full dirt infield instead of the dirt islands that every other team used. 

 

On 5/27/2020 at 11:57 AM, disman00911 said:

Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field in grass (2000-2002)  The final years of this ballpark (as the Great American Ballpark was being built) were played on grass but the 70s Big Red Machine teams and the 1990 Reds team that won the WS had to play on Astroturf.

cinergy725.jpg

 

This was such a weird couple of seasons. Not only because I grew up my whole life watching the Reds play on astroturf and suddenly home games were being played on a proper dirt baeball field, but also because we watched GABP get a little closer to completion each home game. 

 

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It was also weird because it turned Riverfront Stadium into Shea Stadium for two years. 

 

 

On 5/27/2020 at 11:57 AM, disman00911 said:

 

Paul Brown Stadium in grass (2000-2003) – More used to this stadium with Fieldturf and that the Bengals played on Astroturf at Riverfront Stadium beforehand. 

 

 

That grass field was such trash. Amazing Peter Warrick was able to do this in the snow on what was essentially sand and dirt. 

https://streamable.com/g11wmn

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On 6/1/2020 at 12:28 PM, Sport said:

 

I was 10 years old for their first season and I loved their field for deciding to use a full dirt infield instead of the dirt islands that every other team used. 

It always bugged me that they didn't do a dirt warning track. SInce, you know, there would be no warning if you're tracking a ball in the outfield if the surface is just painted brown.

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3 hours ago, raysox said:
On 6/1/2020 at 12:28 PM, Sport said:

 

I was 10 years old for their first season and I loved their field for deciding to use a full dirt infield instead of the dirt islands that every other team used. 

It always bugged me that they didn't do a dirt warning track. SInce, you know, there would be no warning if you're tracking a ball in the outfield if the surface is just painted brown.

 

Don't know if you guys already knew this, but the warning track at Progressive Field is not dirt. It's some sort of weird rubberized surface. At least it as when I was on the field a while back. Found that out because a friend from out of town wanted to do the stadium tour thing. The warning track looks like dirt until you get pretty close to it. I found it very odd. It may be dirt now, I don't know. 

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On 6/4/2020 at 7:46 PM, infrared41 said:

 

Don't know if you guys already knew this, but the warning track at Progressive Field is not dirt. It's some sort of weird rubberized surface. At least it as when I was on the field a while back. Found that out because a friend from out of town wanted to do the stadium tour thing. The warning track looks like dirt until you get pretty close to it. I found it very odd. It may be dirt now, I don't know. 


I believe that's pretty typical in new stadiums.  Camden Yards has a very bouncy rubberized warning track.


Memorial Stadium's warning track was some sort of gravel or cinders. I always felt sorry for anyone who wound up falling, diving or sliding on it, but it was good for the bullpen cart.

 

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