Home Plate Update March 2019 - Page 6

TurfTalk Texas Rangers To Utilize Synthetic Grass Playing Surface For The New Globe Life Field T he Texas Rangers announced in January that the club will install a specially designed synthetic grass playing surface for the new Globe Life Field. The decision to utilize a synthetic grass playing surface was made after the Rangers organization completed almost two years of research to satisfy the club’s total requirements for player safely, team performance and fan experience. The synthetic grass field will be provided by Shaw Sports Turf with installation completed by Texas- based Paragon Sports Constructors. The choice to go with Shaw Sports Turf is rooted in data and supported by extensive research as it relates to player safety. Shaw used Globe Life Park in Arlington’s current natural grass field as one of the benchmarks for its ongoing playability study, conducting a series of tests on that playing surface in August 2017. 6 In addition to the benchmarking research, Shaw Sports Turf is funding and participating in a kinesiology study with Auburn University. This study’s main goal is to research how players react on certain surfaces and then use that data to tune systems for player safety and optimal performance. The goal is to not only have the highest performing synthetic grass, but also to have the highest performing surface for baseball. This research is based on seven playability metrics and a patented data analysis tool that compares system characteristics to top-level natural grass surfaces. Shaw Sports Turf’s newest evolution in baseball, the B1K “Batting a Thousand” system, is a result of this research. “From our first visit with the staff at Shaw Sports Turf, we were clear that a synthetic grass surface for Globe Life Field would only be a consideration if it could deliver the best surface in Major League Baseball and address the concerns we had related to impact on the players,” said Rob Matwick, Rangers executive vice president of business operations. "Months of detailed research that included extensive input from our Baseball Operations group from both a health and performance aspect have resulted in this decision.