Dalton, GA –– March 21, 2021 has been officially named AstroTurf Day in Dalton, Georgia, home to AstroTurf’s manufacturing facility since 1968. The Mayor of Dalton, David Pennington, made the proclamation to mark the 55th anniversary of the first major league game ever played on synthetic turf: the match-up between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 21, 1966 at the Houston Astrodome.
AstroTurf® is the original inventor of synthetic turf, and the company has been at the leading edge of athletic surface innovation for over half a century. AstroTurf® products have set the stage for some of the most iconic moments in sports history. They have served as the playing surface for 12 World Series, 11 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, 8 Major League All-Star Games, and 32 NFL Pro Bowls. AstroTurf® is also the preferred turf for college athletic programs, high schools, and sports complexes across the United States.
The brand name is inspired by the Houston Astrodome, the world’s first domed multi-sports complex and the launching point for AstroTurf® synthetic turf products. At the time the facility was built, the Astrodome was a marvel of sports architecture. While stunning and thoughtfully designed to align with the progressive vision prevalent during the space race era, the structure had one fatal flaw: the clear Lucite panels of the dome created a near-blinding glare that made it almost impossible for athletes to catch pop-ups.
The ceiling was then painted to reduce the glare. This, however, created an entirely new problem. As the original Astrodome field was made from live grass, the painted dome deprived the turf of the sunlight it needed to stay alive. With dead grass, no one could safely play on the field.
This was when the Astrodome first installed, what was at the time, brand-new technology – a revolutionary playing surface developed by the engineers and scientists behind AstroTurf®, then known as “ChemGrass.”
Immediately recognized as an effective solution and ideal playing surface for professional athletes, synthetic turf was quickly adopted by both professional and college-level sports. In 1967, Indiana State’s Memorial Stadium became the first outdoor installation. By 1974, the first Super Bowl was played on AstroTurf®, and 1975 marked the first international field hockey game on AstroTurf® at Molson Stadium in Montreal. In 1980, the entire World Series was played on baseball fields installed with this ultra-durable synthetic turf.
Part of what had made AstroTurf® such a well-known brand in modern sports is the company’s commitment to innovation. Over the years, the technology has continually improved, edging ever-closer to the ultimate goal of replicating the feel, performance, and safety of natural grass while offering the strength and longevity of synthetic turf.
Today, AstroTurf® is owned by Sport Group, a global sports surfacing giant with manufacturing facilities all over the world. The company acquired leading sports surface manufacturers, including AstroTurf®, Rekortan®, a company renowned for developing world-class track systems; Laykold®, the official playing surface of the US Open; and SYNLawn, the leader in artificial grass for playgrounds and professional golf. Active in over 70 countries, Sport Group has installed more than 30,000 synthetic turf fields and running tracks and is committed to supplying the world’s athletes – from Olympians to student-athletes – with superior playing surfaces that enable safe, high-performance play.
“We really appreciate this great honor,” said Heard Smith, AstroTurf CEO.” We are proud to be part of such a tremendous community, and we owe a lot of our success to the great people of Dalton, Georgia. We have to give so much credit to our employees and their hard work, dedication, and expertise in helping to build AstroTurf® into one of the most iconic brand names in all of sports.”
For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport, and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, and professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf®-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety.