Summer means barbecues, pool time, and of course: baseball! The American pastime is playing on beautiful green fields. That might have you wondering what the most popular turfgrass found in MLB stadiums is.
Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermudagrass, and a mixture of Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass are all common types of turf found in MLB stadiums. But what matters most for a baseball field turfgrass? And how many MLB parks use artificial turf? Let’s take a look to learn more about this summer sport – and the surface it’s played on.
The types of turf found at MLB stadiums
The most common types of turf found in MLB stadiums are Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermudagrass, and a mixture of Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass. Each has benefits that make it a popular selection.
This turfgrass is known for being strong and resilient. It can tolerate high traffic and wear, making it a good choice for a baseball field.
Bermuda is another popular option because it’s drought-resistant and has a deep root system. This helps the grass withstand heavy foot traffic and recover quickly from damage.
A Mixture of Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass
Some stadiums use this common combination. The bluegrass provides a durable surface, while the ryegrass gives it a softer feel.
What qualities matter for a baseball field turfgrass?
When choosing turfgrass for a baseball field, there are several important turfgrass qualities to consider. The turf should be able to handle high traffic, have a deep root system, resist pests and diseases, and recover quickly from damage. It’s also important that the turf be able to tolerate extreme weather conditions like heat, humidity, and drought.
This refers to a grass’s ability to withstand periods of dry weather.
How well does the grass stand up to high traffic?
How quickly does the grass bounce back after damage?
Some fields are in shaded areas – how well does the grass grow in these conditions?
Some types of grass are more resistant to pests and disease.
How does the grass look?
For instance, Kentucky Bluegrass is known for being dense and deep-rooted. That means it can withstand high traffic areas – like a baseball field! It’s also very versatile, and able to be grown in various climates.
Bermudagrass is another popular type of turf found in MLB stadiums. This grass is known for its durability and resistance to diseases. It’s also heat tolerant, which makes it ideal for playing in the summer months.
How many MLB parks use artificial turf?
You might be surprised to learn that only a handful of MLB stadiums use artificial turf. In fact, most teams have moved away from this surface in recent years. This has largely been because players prefer to play on natural grass.
However, due to improvements in the technology of artificial turf, some stadiums have converted from natural grass to artificial in the past few years. As of 2022, 5 stadiums have artificial turf. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays play on artificial turf. Of these teams, only the Rays play in a stadium with a fixed roof (versus retractable roofs over the others).
The Houston Astros, who famously became the first MLB team to use artificial turf – “AstroTurf” – in 1966, switched to natural grass after the 2008 season.
The benefits of turfgrass
Just as MLB stadiums utilize these popular turfgrasses, you may be able to at home, as well! In the Southeast, Bermuda is a common choice for home lawns! This attractive turfgrass is known for being low maintenance and easy to care for.
For example, TifGrand Bermudagrass is a variety that makes for an excellent playing field – or an excellent home lawn. It thrives well in shade or full sunlight and is a top choice of homeowners, sod producers, and turf breeders alike.
Now you know a little bit more about the most popular turfgrass found in MLB stadiums. The next time you’re watching a game, take a closer look at the field to see what type of turf it is. Interested in installing a strong, durable, and beautiful lawn on your property? The team at The Turfgrass Group is happy to help!