University of Northwestern Ohio Covers Baseball Diamond in Red Turf

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While athletic facilities with outdoor fields frequently feature turf, and often turf that’s coloured to display team or school spirit, it’s rare to find a baseball field with synthetic turf—especially synthetic turf that’s bright red. But the University of Northwestern Ohio, in Lima, Ohio, has become the first in the nation to sport a red baseball field. The surface will be ready for play in the 2015 fall and spring seasons.
“Turf allows us to save not only on maintenance, but travel as well,” said the university’s head coach, Kory Hartman. “It can be difficult to play games this far north in early March.” With the new synthetic field, the team should be in a better position to host early-season games.
“Baseball is a symbol in our country, and it’s easy to feel nostalgic about playing on natural grass,” said Eric Willin, COO, of EZFacility, a sports facility management software developer in Woodbury, New York, “but there are many advantages to covering a baseball field in turf, both economically and in terms of the quality of play. The University of Northwestern Ohio is going the turf route in style.”
Because of baseball’s early-start season, many teams, especially in northern parts of the United States, are forced by the weather to practice in gymnasiums and batting cages, as opposed to on an actual field. Turf allows teams to play outdoors in wet and even snowy weather; as a result, in the past few years, more and more leagues have allowed the installation of synthetic fields.