Football: Synthetic turf fields are wearing out

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Earlier this decade, lots of high schools began switching to synthetic turf fields, spending more than $1 million. The fields were beautiful and held up great in all weather conditions. But now comes the hard part. They’re starting to wear out. Ten years was the expected life of a field.

Now schools have to come up with thousands of dollars to replace them. North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake will replace its eight-year-old synthetic field in June. The school has been putting away money in anticipation.


La Canada St. Francis, which was one of the first schools to purchase a synthetic field in 2001, is making plans to replace its field in the spring. For those who want to see how a field wears down, go see the St. Francis field.

My concern is that in a time of tight budgets, how are these public and private schools who took the plunge to replace grass fields with synthetic fields going to come up with the money to replace them? Hopefully, they’ve been planning for that day. If not, it could get ugly.

-- Eric Sondheimer