New artificial turf soccer field built in St. Peter

23 May 2017

There's a new rink in town. It looks like a hockey rink. But it's not a hockey rink. It's a soccer field, with boards and artificial turf, next to the pool at Veterans Park in St. Peter.

The turf, which used to be on an actual hockey rink in the park, is being reused on the new soccer field. Part of the reason for the addition is that the turf does not have to be re-installed every year. It's permanent.

The 170 feet by 70 feet field is surrounded by treated wooden boards and has goals on each end. It is 20 feet longer than the hockey rink, so additional turf was needed to cover the entire field.

The St. Peter Soccer Club installed the artificial turf originally on the upper smaller hockey rink on North Fifth Street.

"We flooded over the top of it, and it didn't work out so well for the turf because it kind of loosened," said Tim Mayo, city of St. Peter maintenance public works superintendent for parks, streets and environmental services. "So we (the city) then ended up taking it in and out of that rink which was not very cost effective. It's great because we won't have to keep moving the turf in and out."

The new soccer field could be used as a hockey rink if white plastic was placed on top, but Mayo said, "We're not going to flood it."

The city installed the gravel base on the new soccer field, and XGRASS Inc., headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, put in the artificial turf. XGRASS added 38,000 pounds of in-fill fine white quartz sand in the turf.

"In-fill gives the surface ballast, typically will keep the surface a little cooler and softer and most importantly prolong the life of the field, because it protects the yarn," Mark French, regional manager of XGRASS, said while re-installing the synthetic turf with his Minnesota crew.

"The turf has a long useful life," he said. "There is a considerable cost saving in using the old turf versus trying to buy all new. The polyethylene yarn turf is used primarily for sports applications because it tends to be less abrasive yet durable."

It has a 11-foot-high net surrounding the field to help prevent balls from flying out.

Unlike a grass field that would get wet and muddy in rainy weather, the field would still be usable. It also would be available earlier and later when weather conditions are not as good.

The initial cost of artificial turf is greater than natural grass, but the maintenance cost is less.

The total cost of $45,000 is being funded through the soccer club fundraising ($30,000) and the city ($15,000).

The area where the soccer rink sits was previously an all-natural grass soccer field. There still is an adjacent grass area to play soccer.

The field, which is scheduled to open by May 30, is being used by the soccer club, high school and elementary players, but it is available to the entire community.