Nashville – Dating back to the early years of Nissan Stadium, the Titans explored a number of solutions to improve the natural playing surface. Nashville is in a climate transition zone, which makes growing a consistent turf surface throughout the entire NFL season nearly impossible.
In recent years, following player/coach concerns, an increase in injuries, and persistent issues with unreliable surfaces, the Titans have augmented their research with data to determine the best and safest plan moving forward. Looking at stats from the 2018-2021 NFL seasons, Nissan Stadium had higher lower extremity injuries than each of the league’s monofilament artificial turfs.
Conclusion: Developed new field turf laying that will be installed in time for the 2023 season.
The project – replacing the turf with a monofilament, Matrix Helix Turf with an organic filling – will provide players with a consistent gaming experience throughout the year. This fall, Nissan Stadium will become the first NFL stadium with artificial turf system technology that includes organic infill.
“Ultimately, we made the decision, based on that data, to move to a monofilament surface with an organic infill that mimics the natural feel of turf while having the consistency and durability of field grass,” said Burke Nihill, Titans President and CEO. .
Nissan’s new stadium will be similar to the surface and infill currently used within the team’s indoor training facility at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park, and also used at other training facilities across the NFL. The organic filler retains moisture better than rubber filler to mimic the feel and performance of natural grass, while the turf’s helix-matrix design limits “spray” on contact.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said the response from players since installing that deck prior to last season has been positive.
“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our players,” Vrabel said. “We’ve had a lot of problems (with the grass at Nissan Stadium) after a certain part of the season. The grass is hard to grow. It gets stained. We put in new grass, we try to put in a new patch, you see guys slipping. These are real things I’ve witnessed during my time here.” The turf surface is not at the level of some other grass surfaces (across the NFL).Early in the year, summer, training camp, early season, I can see it’s very consistent, but as the season gets closer, and the weather changes, there’s a noticeable difference in performance. pitch.
“We added this product inside the bubble and…the response has been very positive, very favorable to this surface to the new technology that keeps coming out. Just watch our practices inside and how they feel and how they respond to this product.…We are excited to be able to add this product to the Our playground.
A number of factors were factored into the team’s decision to move from turf to mono turf.
Climate Zone: Because Nashville is located in a transitional climate zone, being able to provide a consistent and durable playing surface has been a struggle since the Titans first began playing at Nissan Stadium in 1999. The team has regularly replaced turf, and resurfaced, but results have been less than Perfect, and the playing surface was particularly annoying late in the past seasons.
Injuries: Due to the inconsistent and unreliable surface, the Giants have seen a number of injuries at Nissan Stadium. During the 2018-2021 seasons, Nissan Stadium consistently had among the highest lower body injuries of any stadium across the league.
IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY: Monofilament turf, matrix helix, combined with organic infill, is the latest turf technology. It combines the consistency and durability of field grass with the feel and performance of a turf and dirt surface. Organic infill is a type of infill that mimics the feel and performance of natural grass. It can produce field temperatures that are 20° to 40° cooler than on fields with a traditional SBR fill. They even require watering, as they are made from natural materials.
Matrix Helix fibers have a spiral shape that creates a look similar to natural grass while allowing the grass to spring back into place after impact. The shape of the fibers secures the padding in place, minimizing movement during play and minimizing “splash”.
The consistency of the turf will benefit the players, said Red Seton, president and CEO of Hellas Construction.
No matter where an athlete places a stud in that turf, Seton said, it’s the same across the entire field from game to game.
“A properly constructed artificial turf field with organic infill and cushion is a superior system for a mid-level turf field,” said Seton. “Artificial turf technology is now able to simulate a well-maintained grass field.
NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Miller previously said that the latest technology and subsequent data were attractive as it relates to turf versus turf.
“Over the last few years, there has been a decrease in the difference between injury rates on artificial surfaces and those on natural turf to the point where we’re really talking more about answering the question, ‘Can we reduce injuries on both artificial surfaces?’ As opposed to one or the other,” Miller said in a previous interview. “This is a complex conversation that involves discussions about the type of surface, the characteristics of the surface, the type of cleats players wear, the activities they engage in, and possibly some atmospheric and weather issues (and more).”
Preparatory work for the field installation of Nissan Stadium is already underway and will be completed in time for the 2023 NFL season.
“I think our on-court crew is among the best in the National Football League,” said Nehill. “Ultimately, there is only a limit to how much can be done for a natural turf surface in this part of the country. This turf is state of the art and would be a huge improvement in terms of consistency and performance.”