Partnering To Meet Common Goals

PRB0114_Berra_Synthetic1The area around Raleigh, N.C., is experiencing unprecedented growth in a time of economic downturn and recovery. With revenues declining over the past few years, combined with the continuing growth of soccer, a partnership with a non-profit athletics provider and land owner was an ideal opportunity. The city consulted with a private organization, the Capitol Area Soccer League (CASL), which currently owns 24 open, multi-purpose fields that range in size from full-scale fields to smaller fields   for child-league play. Most of the fields are of natural turf, which limits the amount of play time due to maintenance concerns. Thus, artificial turf seemed like the obvious solution. Because of the option for extended play that artificial turf offered and the opportunity for additional fields, the city partnered with the CASL to replace two natural-turf fields with synthetic turf and light them for evening play.  

Return On Investment

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Artificial fields must be lined and marked for multiple men’s and women’s sports, which adds to the complexity and cost of the project.

The Raleigh City Council agreed that allocating approximately $2 million for multi-purpose artificial fields would offer a great return on the investment in hotel reservations, restaurants, and entertainment, as well as other economic impacts that prospective tournaments would bring to the area. The partnership offers both the city and CASL an opportunity to host lacrosse, soccer, and Ultimate Frisbee tournaments, as well as other field  

sports. The city can use the fields for regular youth- and adult-league play during set hours and weekends, while CASL runs leagues at other times. The partnership includes site improvements by CASL in parking and storm-water management, as well as repair and replacement of the fields as needed in the future. CASL has also offered to work with the city and the state to manage the additional artificial-turf field off its property but within the city limits. Charlie Slagle, president of CASL, commented, “This is how partnerships are supposed to work.”

Striping And Marking

The benefits from fields like these are dependent upon the ability to host several sports. The artificial fields must be lined and marked for multiple men’s and women’s sports, which adds to the complexity and cost of the project. This also requires cutting, gluing, and splicing the artificial turf, which can result in a greater need for seam repair in the future. The basic outline of the soccer fields is incorporated into the turf at the factory, and once the artificial grass is in place, the additional lines are cut, glued, and sewn in. While this slows down the process of installation, it does allow for a variety of tournaments, which adds a positive economic impact.  

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