What’s it really cost to maintain an athletic field? – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

What’s it really cost to maintain an athletic field?

Whether you are maintaining a professional, university field or a local soccer field because your daughter is on the team, it is difficult to get an accurate estimate of the costs to maintain an athletic field. From my experience, we tend to dramatically underestimate the actual cost of maintaining athletic turf.  Tom Samples and his colleagues from the University of Tennessee assembled an exhaustive expense report for maintaining a bermudagrass field including labor, equipment and fuel costs, depreciation, paint, etc. Tom’s example field was bermudagrass that was overseeded with perennial ryegrass and topdressed once, painted six times, and mowed 62 times per year. The final cost of maintenance for this field was $9700/year. Though every field is slightly different and we can argue about the finer points of what should or shouldn’t be used in the maintenance plan, this publication has very useful information where each manager can use their own set of circumstances to help calculate actual expenses.

The University of Tennessee publication is available at http://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/SP651.pdf


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