Miami -- The Miami Marlins will install a synthetic grass surface at Marlins Park as part of a multi-year corporate partnership with Shaw Sports Turf. With the enhancement to the playing surface, the club is also adjusting the outfield dimensions in center field and right-center field, moving the fences in towards home plate.
“In going through the process of evaluating the playing surface at Marlins Park in 2019, we set out to find a solution to combat the challenges we have experienced with growing natural grass in Marlins Park,” said Derek Jeter, Miami Marlins CEO. “We appreciate the extensive research and new technology from our partners at Shaw Sports Turf to help us deliver a consistent playing field designed to enhance the safety for players and the playability for baseball.”
The B1K: Batting A Thousand by Shaw Sports Turf is a dual fiber turf system comprised of Shaw’s high-performance Strenexe XD slit film and Bolt monofilament. This system provides durability and functionality by minimizing infill “splashing,” maintaining adequate infill levels across the field. The Bolt fiber provides realistic ball roll, friction and natural grass aesthetics. These characteristics ensure the experiences of the players and fans will be maintained at the highest level.
“Shaw Sports Turf is very excited for the opportunity to partner with the Miami Marlins on this project; the franchise is one that values innovation, but also proven quality,” said Chuck McClurg, vice president of Shaw Turf. “We are confident that the B1K Baseball System for Marlins Park will provide an exceptionally consistent, elite playing surface that will rival the best natural playing surfaces in Major League Baseball.”
The Geofill Performance Infill within the blades forms a firm surface similar to natural soil with lower energy rebound levels that closely mimic high-performance natural grass. Geofill is composed of 90% coconut and 10% naturally derived plant-based matter. The B1K surface also creates natural baseball bounce. The accompanying shock pad in the synthetic-grass system provides additional safety and performance benefits, including shock attenuation from contact with the surface.
Two other MLB teams have utilized the Shaw Sports Turf product. The Arizona Diamondbacks, who experienced similar environmental challenges with growing natural grass, installed the synthetic grass in their retractable-roof field prior to the 2019 season, and the Texas Rangers opted for B1K for their new retractable-roof ballpark, which opens in March 2020. BrightView Design Group will complete the installation project of the B1K Baseball System at Marlins Park.
More than 40% of NFL teams currently use a synthetic-grass playing surface due to the improved technology over the last several years. Synthetic-grass surfaces are now a commonplace throughout collegiate and professional sports, with numerous top college football and baseball programs making the switch to synthetic turf.
“While playing the Diamondbacks in Arizona, we were able to get a close look and examine the new surface at Chase Field,” said Michael Hill, Miami Marlins president of baseball operations. “We agreed as an organization that this change was for the best after our players and staff had encouraging remarks regarding the playability of the playing surface.”
By switching to a synthetic-grass surface, the Marlins organization is reinforcing its commitment to sustainability. Operational changes associated with installing the new synthetic grass will help Marlins Park save water, decrease energy usage for cooling the seating bowl, and help protect the internal structure of the ballpark from environmental exposure to the sun. Marlins Park is the first-ever retractable-roof LEED Gold Certified facility in the world. The ballpark’s environmentally friendly design incorporates conservation, sustainability, and energy efficiency.
The new synthetic grass surface will have additional ancillary benefits, allowing use of the playing field throughout the year as Marlins Park continues to develop into a world-class entertainment destination venue.
For more information, visit www.shawsportsturf.com.