AstroTurf

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AstroTurf
Type LLC
Founded 1964
Headquarters Dalton, Georgia, USA
Key people Bryan Peeples - President
Jim Petrucelli - VP of Business Development
Troy Squires - Global Director of Sales and Marketing
Andy Belles - Brand Manager
Website astroturfusa.com

AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. The original AstroTurf product was a short-pile synthetic turf.[1] The prime reason to incorporate AstroTurf on game fields was to avoid the cost of laying natural turf, especially indoors.

History[edit]

An outdoor application for an AstroTurf field.

The original AstroTurf brand product was co-invented in 1965 by Donald L. Elbert, James M. Faria and Robert T. Wright. It was patented in 1965 and originally sold under the name "ChemGrass." It was re-branded as AstroTurf by company employee John A. Wortmann after its first well-publicized use at the Houston Astrodome stadium in 1966.

In 1987, Monsanto consolidated its AstroTurf management, marketing, and technical activities in Dalton, Georgia, as AstroTurf Industries, Inc. In 1988, Balsam AG purchased all the capital stock of AstroTurf Industries, Inc. In 1994, Southwest Recreational Industries, Inc. (SWRI) acquired the AstroTurf brand. In 1996, SWRI was acquired by American Sports Products Group Inc. (ASPG). In 2001, SWRI launched a turf system called NexTurf.[2]

While AstroTurf was the industry leader throughout the late 20th century, other companies like FieldTurf became prominent in the early 2000s; as a result, the original AstroTurf brand product is now almost obsolete.[3] However, AstroTurf has since created products based on modern turf technologies, although they are not as ubiquitous as their predecessors; the current products incorporate modern features such as antimicrobial protection, rubber infill, backing systems and nylon yarn fibers and plastic. In 2003, SWRI changed its name to SRI Sports and one year later filed for bankruptcy and the parent company, ASPG, retained the AstroTurf products and intellectual property. In 2005, Textile Management Associates, Inc. (TMA) acquired the AstroTurf assets from ASPG and began marketing the AstroTurf brand under the company AstroTurf, LLC. In 2006, GeneralSports Venue (GSV) became TMA’s marketing partner for the AstroTurf brand for the American market. AstroTurf, LLC handles the marketing of AstroTurf in the rest of the world.

Product timeline[edit]

1960s[edit]

1965

1966

  • First major installation of AstroTurf (ChemGrass) at the Houston Astrodome indoor stadium for the Houston Astros. The infield portion was in place before opening day in April, outfield was installed in early summer.

1967

1968

1970s[edit]

1970

  • The 1970 World Series is the first with games on AstroTurf (previously installed at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium), as the Reds play the Baltimore Orioles.[7]
  • The backyard of the Brady Bunch house between the service porch and garage and under Tiger's kennel is covered with AstroTurf.

1974

1975

  • The first international field hockey game is played on AstroTurf at Molson Stadium, Montreal.[9]

1980s[edit]

1980

  • The Philadelphia Phillies & Kansas City Royals play the entire World Series on Astroturf in their ballparks.

1984

  • AstroTurf installs the first North American vertical drainage systems in Ewing, NJ at Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey).[10]

1989

  • The first E-Layer system (Elastomeric) is installed at William and Mary, as well as University of California, Berkeley.[11]

1990s[edit]

1993

  • The 1993 World Series was the fourth (and most recent) World Series to be played entirely on artificial turf, following those in 1980, 1985, and 1987, and the last to have any games played on turf until 2008. As of 2010, only two teams still play on artificial turf, and both are in the American League East: the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays.

1999

  • Real Madrid C.F. (Spain) becomes the first European football club to purchase an AstroTurf system for their practice fields.[12]

2000s[edit]

2004

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]