New grass awaits Diamondbacks at Chase Field in 2019
PHOENIX — The D-backs will play on a new field in 2019.
The team announced last year that for the upcoming season, Chase Field would make the switch from natural grass to a synthetic turf from Shaw Sports Turf called B1K (which stands for Batting a Thousand) natural turf.
Media members were given a first-hand look at the field for the first time on Monday, which was also the date of the first game at Chase Field in 2019: an exhibition match between the D-backs and Chicago White Sox.
“Every year, they’ve been asking me to consider doing synthetic grass, or turf, as it used to be,” D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said. “I think what made me change my mind was obviously the quality now. It looks and feels and plays so much like real grass, I was willing to go out to the plant and see how it played, see how it felt. Once I saw it, I thought, ‘This is as good as it’s ever been and it’s time to try it out.’ So far, so good.”
The B1K synthetic grass includes a Geofill Performance Infill, which sits between the blades of grass. The infill is made from natural materials and should play similarly to natural soil, limiting the toll that artificial turf can take on players who must play on the surface each day. The playing surface is also said to be consistent and level throughout.
There are still difficulties in keeping up with the synthetic turf, but it can conserve resources at Chase Field.
“Well, it’s going to be equally as challenging to keep up, but it will save us a lot of water. So we’re going to save about two million gallons of water. We will conserve some of the costs of energy as well, but more importantly, we’re going to be able to keep the roof closed during the summertime and keep the air conditioning going, because we don’t need the direct sunlight on the grass anymore. It’s going to look the same, it’s going to play the same year-round, which is so important.”
While the grass and its infill are different from years past, the material used on the warning track will remain the same.