AstroTurf® and the NFL Players Association make final preparations for the upcoming AstroTurf® NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, an all-star game showcasing the talents of draft-eligible collegiate players. The game will take place on January 21st at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made no bones about the importance of the event.
“It didn’t take us long,” said Smith, of the decision to host the game. “If an athlete has the talent, drive, and will to go to the next level, why wouldn’t we provide that young man with an opportunity to showcase his talents?”
He also cited AstroTurf® for “sharing our vision in protecting and preparing athletes.”
Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf®, said the NFLPA chose to partner with AstroTurf® after visiting their Georgia-based manufacturing facilities and people, as well as the Center for Athletic Field Safety at the University of Tennessee, which is funded by AstroTurf®.
Peeples noted there were 30-year industry veterans who are shaking their heads in wonder because “AstroTurf® and the NFLPA are up here on stage together arm-in-arm. We have made tremendous progress in safety and play performance since our first generation products and this unique venture is testimony of that.”
Willie McGinest, a 15-year NFL veteran who has three Super Bowl ring to his credit, echoed those sentiments.
“I came into the league in 1994,” said McGinest. “Our union and AstroTurf® have made great strides since then. It’s a unique and great marriage.”
Matthew Hatchette, who played eight years in the NFL, cited AstroTurf® and the NFLPA for hosting this game and providing an opportunity for players to make it to the NFL.
The new AstroTurf® field was installed in only six days, and features new AstroBase™ technology, a series of 15,000 structural panels, which provide the base system for the field.
The field surface is all new AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ 3D60 Extreme. The field combines a monofilament Horseshoe™ fiber with a slit film product. The Horseshoe™ fiber has an Omega-shape, which is more resilient and bounces back, staying upright longer. It also reflects less light and heat. The slit film offers the ultimate in durability.
The field also has a face weight of 60 ounces of fiber per square yard, the highest in the industry. This adds to the durability provided by the fiber shape.
In extensive testing, AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ systems perform most like natural grass from ball roll, to slide resistance, to the biomechanical function of cleats penetrating and releasing properly. A study at Michigan State University, funded by NFL Charities, found that AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ systems looked and performed more like natural grass than any other synthetic product measured, also making it the safest option.
The field features AstroFlect™ heat reduction technology, which can lower surface temperatures by as much as 18%.
The field also has RootZone®, a thatch layer which holds the sand and rubber infill in place for less splash and migration, making for a more consistent playing surface. The field will be used next weekend to host all five state championship football games of the California Interscholastic Federation. It will also host a number of other sporting events before being removed in February and being made available for sale to a school or organization looking to utilize a state-of-the-art synthetic playing surface.
The AstroTurf® NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be broadcast on NBC Sport Network, formerly known as Versus.
For many athletes and sport enthusiasts, the AstroTurf® brand has redefined the way the game is played. The company offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry’s first vertically integrated manufacturing system