SBD/Issue 84/Facilities & Venues

Even Playing Field: Expos Install New Turf

Expos Changing Olympic Stadium
Surface Following MLB Mandate

The Expos yesterday announced installation of FieldTurf and the renewal of a one-year lease for the '04 season in Olympic Stadium (Expos). In Montreal, Stephanie Myles reports that the Expos "had no choice but to replace the surface" after the MLBPA "mandated the change." The union has been "swamped with complaints" about the existing AstroTurf. Expos Exec VP/Business Affairs Claude Delorme noted that the decision came down to FieldTurf and PureGrass, but PureGrass was only available for purchase and FieldTurf "agreed to an advertising and visibility-based rental option similar to what the Expos had for the previous surface." Delorme: "FieldTurf, from a baseball perspective, is a better surface. ... The bounce is closer to natural grass, it slows down the speed of the ball and it's non-abrasive from a safety standpoint. ... I think the players are going to appreciate it" (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/21).

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