Thursday April 30th marked an extraordinary day for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. A worthy celebration took place for the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of the station’s new Youth Sports Complex. This new project, dedicated to promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for local children, includes 170,000 square feet of FieldTurf’s industry-leading synthetic turf.
The state-of-the-art facility will serve part of the 1200 children and 160 coach volunteers in the Marine Corps Community Service’s youth program and will be the ground to many popular sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, and flag football among others. The station’s intramural soccer league, comprised of over 300 active duty players, will also make great use of the playing surface.
“The Youth Sports Complex is a great asset to the MCAS Miramar Community” stated Frank J. Guasti, Director of Planning and Construction at MCAS Miramar. “The turf feels just like natural grass, and yet allows for all-weather playability, unlimited playing time, and nearly eliminates maintenance. This is exactly what we needed for our complex.”
The new facility marks FieldTurf’s 15th installation for U.S. Military establishments since 2000, most notably after completing projects at the Naval Station Great Lakes, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
In addition to local sports, MCAS Miramar’s field will be the home to one of the Chargers’ pre-season practices – an annual event named Chargers’ Military Appreciation Day. The event will be open to Marines and their families and is expected to attract a few thousand people once again. This will be the first time that the likes of Tomlinson, Rivers, Merriman and the rest of the Chargers team will take part in a full-contact practice during this event, which was previously a run-through no-equipment practice before the surface was installed.
The new-generation synthetic turf has undergone numerous studies which have proven that it is the safest surface available to athletes of all levels, reducing head and neural injuries which are caused on natural grass. FieldTurf’s patented mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber infill provides a surface firmness which offers a perfect balance between injury reduction through shock absorption and athletic performance maximization.
MCAS Miramar has also recognized how the field will allow them to save 7 billion gallons of water annually and over $90,000 of yearly expenses which would have been attributed to mowing, fertilizing, and reseeding a natural grass field.