City Council Will Discuss Replacing Victory Field Turf Tuesday

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Charlie Breitrose Watertown’s Victory Field.

The City Council will consider funding the replacement of the turf at Victory Field at its meeting on Tuesday.

The field currently has an artificial turf surface with plastic grass and black rubber fill in between. The proposed new field would have plastic grass, but the fill would be an organic material made from pine trees.

The artificial turf was installed in 2011, replacing a natural grass field. The artificial turf field is nearing the end of is recommended life, according to Watertown High School Athletic Director Ryan Murphy. The material is getting packed down and could lead to more injuries, he told the School Committee on Feb. 6.

The School Committee voted 6-0 (with one “present” vote) to support installing a new artificial turf field at Victory Field. The School Committee does not have a say in the final decision, but the schools are the biggest users of the field, which is used for football, field hockey, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. It is also frequently used by the Recreation Department and Watertown youth sports teams.

Watertown officials chose the artificial surface in 2011 because it would allow for longer playing time, and less delay during bad weather. In recent years, some residents opposed a new artificial turf field owned by Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in East Watertown, saying the fields are made with toxic materials, and that they are significantly hotter than natural grass.

The City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 149 Main St., and people can also participate remotely. See the agenda and info for tuning in remotely by clicking here.

2 thoughts on “City Council Will Discuss Replacing Victory Field Turf Tuesday

  1. Curios about what the users of the field think. Do athletes prefer natural or artificial turf? If it was me I wouldn’t want to be playing on plastic. The feel of the ground, the smells of the earth are part of the joys of playing sports outside.
    Not to mention the huge cost of artificial turf. What are the cost comparisons between natural and artificial. What are the environmental costs and impact?

    • My son played on it all the way through his senior year on the Watertown High soccer team. I coached for a few years. Never had one injury due to the turf and never had a game that was too hot to play on. We used it in the fall and spring, during the summer my son would get together with his high school classmates and play on the turf every morning. Never had a situation where the field was too hot. During Covid when nobody was allowed on any parks including the turf at Vic they went to the turf fields at Gann Academy in Waltham or Daly in Brighton. They preferred playing on turf vs grass. Over the life of the turf I don’t think the costs are much higher than maintaining grass. And you get much more use out of the turf than grass.

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