The international governing body of soccer has given its blessing to Loudon County's (VA) newest athletic institution. The AstroTurf playing surfaces at Evergreen SportsPlex by Sports Construction Management, Inc. have been assigned FIFA One-Star Recommended status, a designation carried by only 20 other fields in the US.

Leesburg (VA) Evergreen SportsPlex now FIFA-approved

The international governing body of the world’s most popular sport has given its blessing to Loudon County’s (VA) newest athletic institution. The state-of-the-art AstroTurf playing surfaces at Evergreen SportsPlex by Sports Construction Management, Inc. (SCM) have just been assigned FIFA One-Star Recommended status, a designation carried by only twenty other fields throughout the entire U.S.  Now that number is twenty-four, as all four synthetic turf installations at Evergreen have passed the rigorous certification process.

Evergreen SportsPlex is located on an expansive forty-four acre site in scenic Leesburg, Virginia, in the heart of Loudoun County, VA. It aims to serve the growing demand of organized and recreational athletics in a county whose population has nearly doubled since 2000. The four over-sized, lighted AstroTurf fields enable a variety of sports an opportunity to train, practice, play and compete in tournaments all year long. Whether it’s soccer or lacrosse, field hockey or football, youth leagues or old timers, Evergreen SportsPlex is the region’s newest and most complete sporting destination. “We’re thrilled to receive the FIFA recommendation, and we think it speaks to the fantastic quality of our facility,” said Chris Bourassa, Head of Operations for Evergreen SportsPlex. “In order to realize our vision, we knew our athletic fields had to be impeccable. After an exhaustive eight month review process, our Ownership at Evergreen Chose SCM & Astro Turf. The technology and testimonials behind AstroTurf’s next generation synthetic turf systems left no doubt in our minds – the 3DH FIFA product was the right fit for Evergreen SportsPlex.”

The unparalleled distinction of having four FIFA Recommended fields at one athletic park cannot be overstated. Evergreen SportsPlex becomes the ONLY entity in the United States with multiple FIFA Recommended synthetic surfaces in one location. There is only one other soccer field carrying the FIFA certification within 200 miles, and that playing field resides on the campus of a private high school. To find another soccer park on par with Evergreen which contains even one FIFA Recommended pitch, you’d have to travel to Georgia or Michigan or west of the Mississippi. The unique FIFA recognition should only bolster the status of a sporting complex that is already establishing itself as the regional hub of athletic tournaments and sports tourism.

The facility has been incredibly busy since opening to the public last October. Evergreen is the home of the FC Virginia soccer club, Potomac Field Hockey, Virginia Extreme Flag Football, Virginia Chargers football, and various other adult leagues, youth camps and tournaments. It’s been an exciting time for the Loudoun County sports scene, but Evergreen SportsPlex is also keeping an eye on the future. The venue already has plans for expansion this summer, with construction of a 24,000 square foot, three-level pavilion in the works. Intended to sit adjacent to the championship field, the pavilion will feature a lower level locker room and field entrance, a full service concession area, and an upper level executive viewing area. Other amenities planned for 2014 include a kids’ lot, zip-line and ropes adventure course, outdoor basketball court, and a coffee house / café style restaurant.

The application process for achieving FIFA recommendation was certainly no walk in the park, as evidenced by the limited number of soccer parks in the U.S. that have attained the status. The first step in achieving this elusive recognition was to select a FIFA approved product, which Evergreen did by choosing the AstroTurf 3DH turf system. What followed was a stringent certification process conducted on-site by FIFA representatives after the field installation was complete. The team at Sports Construction Management was a huge asset in this regard, having installed several high profile fields for AstroTurf at Indiana University, Vanderbilt, and including the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. The experienced professionals at SCM also completed installation of an AstroTurf soccer field at Marshall University last summer which passed its own FIFA evaluation in November. And of course the team at AstroTurf can boast several FIFA recommended fields throughout the world, including pitches in Canada, Mexico and Hong Kong.

“We are thrilled to have our product utilized at such an impressive facility as the Evergreen SportsPlex, and equally excited about the FIFA certification” said Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf. “Our fields are considered to be the finest synthetic playing surfaces in the world, and together we’re giving the people of Loudoun County something they can be proud of for years to come.”

Each of the four fields is comprised of a premium AstroTurf 3DH synthetic turf system. The artificial playing surface combines the innovative Horseshoe™ fiber with AstroTurf’s patented RootZone® technology. The Horseshoe fiber refers to the omega-shaped (Ω) “blades of grass” which cover the playing surface and offer a high degree of resiliency because the fiber bounces back and holds its shape longer than a traditional monofilament fiber. The RootZone® is AstroTurf’s infill stabilization system, a thatched layer of texturized nylon which holds the sand and rubber infill in place to radically reduce infill migration, splash, and deep-cleat penetration. The result is clean, consistent playing surface that garners high marks for player performance, ball roll, safety, durability and aesthetics. It’s no wonder that this innovative product has been tested and approved by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body.

In addition to the aforementioned design features that make the AstroTurf 3DH turf system an optimal playing surface, the fields are engineered to counteract whatever Mother Nature decides to throw Loudoun County’s way. The drainage system outperforms traditional grass turf, enabling the play to go on in spite of rain or other inclement weather with minimal downtime. And in the summer months when the heat is on, the AstroFlect™ technology kicks into gear. The chemistry behind AstroFlect™ allows the fibers on the surface to reflect infrared light and dissipate heat into the atmosphere instead of being absorbed by the turf, significantly lowering surface temperatures. When you throw in the high durability and low maintenance requirements of these artificial fields, it’s easy to see why AstroTurf was the ideal choice for Evergreen SportsPlex.

Spectacular multi-sport complexes, although a new and emerging trend, are by no means unfamiliar to the team at AstroTurf. Within their portfolio you’ll find clients such as Starfire Sports, whose complex located just outside of Seattle, Washington is considered the premier dedicated soccer campus in the country, as well as the training home for MLS’ Seattle Sounders FC. You’ll also find Spooky Nook Sports, whose massive 800,000 square foot indoor complex located in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, which is surrounded by 8 multipurpose AstroTurf fields, opened to the public this summer. And be on the lookout for Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a $20 million sports tourism destination with seven state-of-the-art synthetic turf fields from AstroTurf slated to open in the spring of 2014.