The Synthetic Turf Forum — organized by the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO) and the IAKS is coming this October.

The world’s biggest synthetic turf exhibition

The Synthetic Turf Forum — organized by the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO) and the IAKS is coming this October.

Synthetic turf is not a fashion trend. It remains the No. 1 growth segment in sport facility construction. However, synthetic turf is not only being used in football stadiums. Synthetic turf also provides benefits in landscape architecture. From 28th to 30th October 2009, synthetic turf also will play a main role at FSB 2009 in Cologne. In keeping with this focus, Hall 11.3 of the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities will be turned into a synthetic turf hall mainly. This means that FSB 2009 will be staging the world’s largest synthetic turf exhibition. FSB’s new partner is the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO), who along with its members and associated members will be presenting synthetic turfs of the 21st century, as well as organising the Synthetic Turf Forum in cooperation with the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS). At the Forum in Hall 11.3 of the world’s biggest trade fair for this attractive and versatile floor covering, visitors can find out information on all three days of the fair about the planning, construction and maintenance of synthetic turfs. This will make it possible to address new topics, including production techniques, quality standards and market potential, construction and operation costs, the FIFA Quality Concept and the benefits of synthetic turf for women’s, girls’ and youth football.

“In Europe synthetic turf is a market worth billions, with a large growth potential. Along with the USA, Europe is one of the global market leaders. ESTO represents around 90 per cent of the European production of synthetic turf, with a value of one billion euros — from production to installation,” says Albert Prisse, Secretary General of ESTO. The reason for the growing popularity of synthetic turf is due to the many benefits it provides. Synthetic turf can also be used in areas that have extremely long exposure to sunshine, high temperatures and very dry weather. The same goes for the opposite extreme — regions with climates with very low temperatures, little sun and heavy rain and snow. In addition, synthetic turfs don’t need to be watered, mowed or fertilised. In short, it is environmentally friendly, safe and looks perfect all year round. “The benefits that synthetic turfs bring to sports grounds also make them ideal for landscape architecture — for parks, airports and private gardens,” says Prisse.

The various areas of application for synthetic turfs will be presented at FSB by around 70 companies — including Bonar Yarns & Fabrics Ltd., Charles Lawrence, Desso Sports Systems NV, Domo Sports, Dow Chemical, Edel Grass BV, Fieldturf Tarkett SAS, Gezolan, Greenfields BV, Labosport, Lano Sports NV, Lenzing Plastics GmbH, Limonta, Mondo, Polytan, Recticel, Redexim, Saltex Ltd, SMG, TenCate Grass Europe, Tessiture Pietro Radici S.p.A., and Tiger Turf Ltd. The focus will be on the use of synthetic turf at sports facilities. As a technically perfected product, synthetic turfs offer sustainable and economic solutions for sports facilities while providing perfect playing conditions. This is also documented by the “F-MARC” and “ProZone” studies carried out by FIFA in recent years, which involved analysis of over 100 games from the Champions League, the Dutch First League and the U-20 and U-17 FIFA World Championships. The result: No significant differences were found between synthetic turfs and natural turfs — whether in terms of number and types of injuries or playing patterns and game characteristics. “Football associations like FIFA and the DFB have long considered synthetic turfs one of the most important innovations for football,” says Klaus Meinel, Executive Director of the IAKS. “Especially for women’s, girls’ and youth football, synthetic turf has now become indispensable as pitch covering.”

At specially designed areas, FSB will also show how synthetic turf can be used in landscape architecture. Increasing numbers of municipalities are using synthetic turf to make their cities more attractive — in parks, at playgrounds, along streets and tramlines, and at roundabouts and airports. Reduced maintenance requirements, lower costs and permanently attractive turfs are also convincing more and more owners of industrial estates and private gardens. As a result, suppliers of synthetic turfs will, among other things, be presenting products at FSB that were specially developed for public green areas and private gardens.