This spring, high school athletes in Albemarle County Public Schools (NC) will receive a belated Christmas gift from an anonymous donor and county supervisors: state of the art synthetic field turf for the football fields. Thousands of students will walk, run and fall on that surface while playing football, field hockey, soccer or lacrosse. Though each field costs $600,000, maintenance will be a heck of a lot easier, and their durability will allow the broader community to play on the fields when they aren’t in use for high school games.

But are these new fields really a gift—or a curse? In order to save maintenance money in the short term, Albemarle County is taking a gamble on a new product that may (or may not) have health risks.

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SportsField Management