One of the most expensive parts of having sports programs in a high school is the cost of a quality playing field. Unlike the professional equivalent, when a high school puts money into building a new stadium or field its unlikely to earn that money back in a short amount of time, which makes building or upgrading a field very unattractive to school boards when its comes to budget crunching. In some states like Texas high school football teams can play in lavish stadiums that cost as much as $20 million to build and even one that will cost an estimated $60 million for Allen High School. While those schools teams play in lavish conditions, some schools are forced to play on torn-up fields that sometimes don’t even have bleachers for parents to sit in. While the cost of stadiums is staggering even when the fields are modest, schools still find ways to fit the cost of upgrades and upkeep into the budget every year. Most high school teams have their own home fields but some teams have found that sharing a field with another school can be a good way to split the costs.
When it comes to overall budget cuts, schools don’t look at stadiums or fields because the money was already spent, so sometimes even when things are being cut, there is room for field upgrades and sometimes even construction. When it comes to the economy fields and stadiums are almost recession proof due to the fact that the need for those fields to serve the city in which they are built will always there as long as kids are playing sports. Yearly maintenance costs for stadiums and fields can sometimes be the reason for an upgrade even when the budget is tight as turf is cheaper to maintain than grass according to Cheshire Athletic Director Steve Trifone
“The overuse of the field and the quest for more field time, we were just unable to keep grass” Trifone said.
Turf will also last longer making it cheaper over the long haul even though the cost of installation can cost over a million dollars. Some coaches would even say, that a turf field can make coaching easier.