The installation of the synthetic turf system at Highmark Stadium began this week as part of construction at Pittsburgh’s newest downtown multi-sport and entertainment venue.
Stadium officials selected the PowerBlade Elite 45 turf system for Highmark Stadium. PowerBlade Elite 45, a product supplied by Shaw Sports Turf, consists of a 1.75" monofilament fiber, a layered mixture of sand and rubber infill and a gFend shock pad underlayment.
The PowerBlade Elite product line was designed around performance criteria that measures both athlete-surface and ball-surface interactions on the field. The turf system combines the look and feel of natural grass with the effectiveness of today’s synthetic turf systems.
The gFend shock pad, which is below the synthetic turf, will provide additional safety and performance features to athletes of all ages playing at Highmark Stadium.
"As a facility that will be used year-round by professional and young, aspiring athletes, it was important to select a high quality turf system for Highmark Stadium," said Jason Kutney, CEO of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. "We are confident that this field will provide a safe and quality venue for athletes for years to come."
The safety and performance features of the PowerBlade Elite can qualify for FIFA certifications. FIFA, the governing body of soccer, introduced the FIFA Quality Concept Testing in 2001 to develop a recognized standard for synthetic turf worldwide. Upon the completion of installation, Highmark Stadium will undergo laboratory and field tests organized by the FIFA Quality Program. If the facility meets the criteria, Highmark Stadium will receive either a 1-Star or 2-Star status.
"Receiving FIFA certification would be a huge step for Highmark Stadium," said Kutney. "With this certification, a whole new level of soccer would be present in Pittsburgh."
Shaw Sports Turf, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is one of the leading synthetic turf companies in North America. The company has provided top-quality synthetic turf systems for more than two decades and has completed over 1,000 successful installations. PowerBlade Elite is one of Shaw Sport Turf’s newest turf systems.
"We are extremely pleased to be selected as the synthetic turf provider at Highmark Stadium," said Chuck McClurg, Shaw Sports Turf’s Vice President of Sales. "We congratulate the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the accomplishment of its new elite facility and are grateful to have a partner that appreciates quality and performance."