The Average Cost for an Artificial Turf Football Field

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Originally posted on February 8, 2021

If you’re considering a turf football field, cost is probably one of the considerations. At Turf Factory Direct, we don’t just sell high quality turf for sports fields and indoor facilities, we have the resources to help you plan a turf installment project, no matter how big or small.

In this post, we’re going to take you through some average costs and estimates for what making a football field with artificial turf might cost, including as many factors as possible. Let’s get going. Every installation is different so you’ll still need to consult with local installation experts, but this guide will at least help you start to understand how to factor costs. 

Overview of Potential Costs

There are numerous factors that go into the cost of a turf football field. Here are some of the typical factors you’ll have to consider. 

Cost to Install a turf Football Field 

The first stage of the costs of a football field is construction. There are a number of factors that affect the cost to construct a turf football field. The price of a turf football field installation will range from $640,000 to around $2,000,000. 

1) Cost to Install Turf is Based on the Size of the Football Field

A football field is, on average, from around 57,600 square feet to 100,000 square feet. The cost of the turf that you’re going to install is going to depend on the size of the field. 

2) Climate 

Climate will be a big factor when thinking about drainage and care. Depending on how much rainfall the area receives, and the current state of the terrain, you might need to install a proper drainage system to save time and money down the line on repairs or replacement by preventing damages.

3) Materials 

Material costs are one of the easier to calculate costs, but can vary dramatically based on location. You simply need to know the size of the field and work back from there.

  • Artificial turf costs around $2.00 – $5.00 per square foot, depending on the variety and quality of the turf.  Turf Factory Direct has a huge selection of sports turf at great prices to choose from. 
  • The base that is installed underneath for proper drainage is usually around $4.00 per square foot. 
  • Infill ranges from $6.00 – $10.00 per square foot.
  • The overall cost to install a turf football field ranges from $8.00 – $20.00 per square foot.

4) Labor 

This one is going to depend on how much time you’re willing to spend yourselves with your team, as well as the cost considerations of hiring outside contractors and laborers in your region.

5) Surface Conditions 

 If the area the turf is going to be installed in is going to require leveling or other grading landscaping, that will add quite a bit to the potential costs. 

It’s a significant investment. When compared with a grass football field, the price of a turf football field can seem expensive, but once you take maintenance into consideration, the amount of savings is remarkable, and easily makes up for the upfront investment of installing the turf football field, especially when compared to a grass football field. 

Cost to Maintain a Turf Football Field

Once you’ve installed the field, you’ll also need to think about maintenance. Here are some of the main factors to consider. The minimum price for turf maintenance can be higher than that of natural grass for certain football fields, but the maximum is lower. 

Costs of a turf football field vs costs of a natural grass football field maintenance equipment

Turf Maintenance Equipment Costs for a Football Field 

There’s minimal equipment required to maintain an artificial turf field, though you’ll likely need something that will help you clean and disinfect at a large scale to keep the field attractive and tidy for game day. 

Cost of Labor & Hours to Maintain a Turf Football Field

Labor can be difficult to calculate, but we’d estimate that you’ll need around 300 to 400 hours of labor a year to make the turf ready for the big game. 

Materials Costs to Maintain a Turf Football Field

New infill and other materials like cleanser or paint will be necessary for regular maintenance. This is one of the most variable factors, but once you nail down a base cost, it’s easy to project estimates of future costs.

Comparing the costs from different turf football fields, a reasonable estimate for the cost to maintain a turf football field around $20,000 a year for supplies and labor.  

cost of a natural grass athletic field

What does a grass football field cost?

Cost of Installing A Grass Football Field

Installing, or growing, a natural grass football field has considerably smaller upfront costs than a turf football field, but it does have its drawbacks other costs further down the road. 

Grass Maintenance Costs

If you’re thinking that turf is more expensive than natural grass consider this: While grass is more affordable to install, the upfront maintenance costs and ongoing maintenance costs exceed that of artificial turf. The price for equipment to maintain natural grass football fields ranges from $40,000 to $100,000.  The average maintenance cost of grass can hit estimates of $50,000 a year. 

natural grass football field maintenance cost estimates

Cost to Irrigate a Natural Grass Football Field

Irrigation is an important factor to consider when planning a grass football field, or any grass field for that matter. The amount of water a football field uses varies dramatically between climates, soil conditions, the amount of use it receives. 

According to the Sports Turf Managers Association, a grass football field will typically require an inch of water per week, or 60,000 gallons of water per day. Considering a typical 6 month growing season in the Northeast as an example, a conservative estimate is approximately 1.5 million gallons of water in a single season. 

In other climates, some fields could need 1 to 2 inches per acre, 1 to 3 times per week. This comes to roughly over 100,000 gallons of water per week. 

On top of how the amount of water can vary, the price of water varies too. 

turf and natural grass football field maintenance estimates

The Benefits of Turf

How is that turf can save so much money? Well, there are several factors that we can break it down into:

Benefit 1. Turf Conserves Water

Turf doesn’t require irrigation, which can be a big cost-saver, and is good for the environment. You can read more about the water saving benefits of turf, and the importance of water conservation on our blog. 

Benefit 2. Turf is Easy to Maintain

Artificial turf means now mowing and no fertilizing. Turf’s low maintenance significantly reduces equipment and labor costs, and of course, saves time to be spent elsewhere. 

Benefit 3. Turf Reduces Injuries

Turf is non-abrasive, shock-absorbent, and provides good traction. Additionally, you never have to worry about mud or slipping in it during a game. Keeping players in top condition and in the game keeps funds incoming instead of spent on liability and injuries. 

Benefit 4. Turf’s Durability & Lifespan

Turf is ready for immediate use after you install it, and though it might require occasional repairs, it’s not as time-consuming as grass. You’ll get 500-1000 hours of use before having to do small repairs. Well maintained turf can withstand 3,000 hours of gameplay a year, and last 8-15 years!

Potential Downsides of Turf

Turf is not without its downside. It can get pretty hot in the summer, though you can mitigate that heat by spraying it down with a little water, or by investing in a cooling system.

The high temperatures of turf football fields are a concern for locations sitting in direct sunlight and with hot climates. A turf cooling system is an additional cost — installation of the system itself and the cost of water it uses. However, the amount of water it takes to cool turf down is significantly less than the cost to irrigate natural grass.

If you want to adjust the paint that’s added to the turf, that can take time and labor, but it’s offset by the other low maintenance costs of the material and other labor. 

turf factory direct cost of turf football field vs natural grass football field

The Costs of Turf vs. Natural Grass Football Field

While artificial turf has a higher upfront cost, it has lower maintenance costs year over year for labor, materials, and repairs. Depending on how you plan to keep the field going, turf is more affordable than grass if it’s maintained well, and if you’re not having to replace it until around 10 years have passed. Artificial turf looks pretty year-round and ultimately requires less labor to maintain as well. 

At Turf Factory Direct, we make sure that our customers are getting the best turf at the best value for their money. Our experts have been selling and installing turf for decades, and we’re here to help you meet any need you might have for a football field or other sports field. Get in touch with us for more information.