Riccardo Silva Stadium installs innovative field turf

The FIU defensive line prepares to engage with the UTSA offensive line on Nov. 4, 2017 at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Nicholas Poblete/Panther Press

By Brett Shweky/Sports Director

 

FIU football and Miami FC soccer received a facility upgrade earlier this year, after Miami FC owner Riccardo Silva donated $3.76 million.

Silva’s donation led to the installation of Revolution 360 field turf in the stadium and also the practice fields.

The FieldTurf’s Revolution 360 system is an innovative feature constructed entirely from recycled turf and a thermoplastic rubber called VersaTile. The rubber is an shock underlayment solution, which enables the field to have efficient drainage and shock absorption.

The turf was given the name, Revolution 360, based on the concept of completeness. FieldTurf believes that their product offers optimal durability, resilience and feel.

Senior Jose Melendez, a former high school football player, discussed how he preferred playing on artificial turf compared to natural grass.

“Playing on turf compared to actual grass is definitely a different feel, at least to me, the field always felt smoother, but it all depends on the player,” said the public relations and sociology major. “I used to play football and I used to prefer to play on turf instead of grass.”

FIU and also Miami FC decided to install the Revolution 360 system along with the VersaTile underlayment, the same combination as the New England Patriots chose for Gillette Stadium.

The Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons are also two big named teams that use the innovative field for their stadiums.

The Revolution 360 turf is still the first and only fiber in the turf industry to score an 83 on Labosport’s Fiber Performance Index, a measurement system of fiber quality. The turf was also given a perfect 10, after Penn State’s Surface Research Center put the product to the test.

From Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2017, the state of Florida has received a remarkable 78.05 inches of rain, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The VersaTile feature will offer maximum horizontal drainage with a free draining surface area of 82 percent, according to Fieldturf.com.

The leading-edge field turf will also reduce and absorb impact by a proven 30 percent, according to Fieldturf.com.

In a three-year study done by FieldTurf, the company analyzed percentage of injuries that occurred on their turf compared to natural grass in college football.

Twenty-four universities were evaluated over three seasons for injury incidences. This included the time of the injury, the position of the player, environmental factors, and injury mechanism.

After excessing a total of 465 collegiate games, 2253 injuries were recorded, 1050 (46.6 percent) occurring during play on FieldTurf, and 1203 (53.4 percent) on natural grass.

Experts found that the FieldTurf system led to 13 percent fewer muscle strains and tears, 11 percent fewer concussions, 31 percent fewer ligament tears, and 21 percent fewer severe injuries.

Sophomore biology major Kimberly Navarrette explained how she feels that player safety should be one of the biggest concerns throughout college football and how universities should take necessary precautions to prevent injuries.

“Programs all around the nation should be coming up with ways to increase player safety,” said Navarrette. “If installing better turf will prevent some of the injuries, then I feel like it should required by many of the universities around the country.”

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