To some of us, fall means pumpkin spice and finding excuses to dress like it’s cold. To others of us, fall means football. High school, college or professional. Florida loves football and most of our major football stadiums use turfgrass as their surface.
Why Real Turfgrass
Why not use artificial grass? It doesn’t need to be watered, fertilized or cut. Artificial surfaces may be easier to maintain, but they are harder on athletes than natural surfaces. This is particularly true in football. The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) summed up the issue this way: “Professional football players put extremely high levels of force and rotation onto the playing surface. Grass will eventually give, which often releases the cleat prior to reaching an injurious load. On synthetic surfaces, there is less give, meaning our feet, ankles and knees absorb the force, which makes injury more likely to follow.”
Florida loves college football and for good reason. The Sunshine State has some good schools that have seen success. Florida State University made 4 trips to the national championship in the BCS era, winning twice. The University of Florida and the University of Miami each made 2 trips, winning twice and once respectively. In addition, many bowl games get played in Florida. Most of the major schools use real turfgrass surfaces.
All of the professional football venues in Florida have a turfgrass surface. This means the home games for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins are all on natural surfaces. The Super Bowl is often hosted in one of Florida’s stadiums because of a warm weather climate.
One variety we grow here in Florida is Celebration Bermudagrass. The Celebration cultivar was originally bred in Australia and has a dark, blue-green color. It is highly drought resistant and very wear resistant. It is also one of the newer types of bermudagrass. This strong and wear-resistant grass requires less mowing than many other bermudagrasses.
Currently, two major college stadiums use Celebration Bermudagrass on their playing surface. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the home field for the University of Florida Gators, switched to Celebration Bermudagrass in 2012.
Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium is also a Celebration Bermudagrass surface. The stadium is not only the home of the Florida Atlantic University Owls football team, but it hosts the Boca Raton Bowl since 2014.
This cultivar is one of the most popular types for use on football fields in Florida. It has a fine texture, tolerates wear very well and is a weed-resistant variety as well. It is very wear resistant but requires increased maintenance in terms of mowing frequency, nutrition and protectant chemicals.
Doak Campbell Stadium, the home field for the Florida State University Seminoles is a Tifway 419 surface. Likewise, the home field of the University of Central Florida Knights, FBC Mortgage Stadium, is a Tifway 419 surface.
The University of South Florida Bulls and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers both play at Raymond James Stadium. This Tifway 419 field also plays host to the ReliaQuest Bowl, the Gasparilla Bowl and 3 Super Bowls.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens is another Tifway 419 playing field that hosts multiple teams. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock, as does the University of Miami Hurricanes. The venue also hosts the second-oldest college bowl game, the Orange Bowl, and has hosted 6 Super Bowls.
Rounding out the Florida stadiums using Tifway 419 is TIAA Bank Field, the home field of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The venue also hosts the Gator Bowl and serves as a neutral site for the annual University of Georgia- University of Florida rivalry game. It also hosted the Super Bowl in 2005.
King Ranch Florida Turfgrass proudly grows these varieties of bermudagrass, as well as many others. As a full-cycle operation, we grow and harvest our different varieties of grass right here in Florida. King Ranch Florida Turfgrass is proud of the environmentally-conscious “best management practices” farming policies it has implemented throughout its Florida operations. Contact us if you have questions about which variety of turfgrass will meet your needs.