The Rise of Multi-Use Turf Facilities

Feb 22, 2024 | 2023-2024, Blog

Written by Cate Clark, NFHCA Executive Director

As collegiate athletics continues to evolve, so does the demand placed on athletic facilities. In a recent survey conducted by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) through the Field Hockey Forward program, insights from 111 collegiate field hockey programs across all NCAA divisions shed light on the prevalence and benefits of multi-use turf facilities for field hockey, football, lacrosse, and soccer. The findings underscore a shifting landscape where synthetic turf surfaces are increasingly becoming the norm, enabling a diverse array of sports and activities to thrive.

The data revealed a staggering 94% of Division II teams, 80% of Division III teams, and 14% of Division I teams share their fields with other sports—a testament to the versatility and efficiency of multi-use turf surfaces. Notably, only three NCAA programs continue to maintain grass fields, all of which are at the Division III level.

At the forefront of this trend are institutions like Franklin Pierce University, Assumption University, Southern Virginia, and Saint Anselm College, exemplars of effective multi-sport facility utilization. These institutions seamlessly accommodate football, soccer, and lacrosse alongside field hockey, leveraging innovative turf technologies to support diverse athletic programs.  Shippensburg University, Gettysburg College, the University of St. Joseph, and Stockton University similarly maximize their multi-use turf across three intercollegiate sports.

Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire shares its field with football, field hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse, with occasional usage by men’s and women’s soccer, all on a FieldTurf Classic HD surface. Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire shares its turf with men’s and women’s soccer, football, field hockey, and men’s and women’s lacrosse, utilizing a Legion Pro 2.0 turf from Shaw Sports Turf. Similarly, Assumption University in Massachusetts accommodates football, field hockey, and men’s and women’s lacrosse on a Legion HP 41 turf, also from Shaw Sports Turf. Gettysburg College shares an AstroTurf Rootzone 3D3 Blend system for its football, field Hockey, & lacrosse programs while Stockton University shares its multi-use turf facility with field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer, utilizing an AstroTurf Rootzone 3D3 Trionic Blend HD system.

These institutions demonstrate that with the right turf systems, the possibilities for multi-sport facility sharing are vast. Manufacturers like AstroTurf, FieldTurf, Shaw Sports Turf, and Sprinturf, popular across multiple sports programs, offer solutions tailored to the unique needs of each sport, ensuring optimal performance and safety.  AstroTurf continues to be the leading provider of many Division I field hockey programs, with its Director of Field Hockey, Melissa Vassalotti Twist emphasizing their extensive experience in multi-use facilities while prioritizing field hockey performance. She stated, “We understand the demands and preferences that coaches and athletes have surrounding their surface needs at all levels of the sport. AstroTurf provides a full range of multipurpose systems designed to meet all of our customers’ needs and budgets” across all collegiate divisions. To show their support of the Field Hockey Forward initiative, AstroTurf is currently providing discounted pricing for institutions adding field hockey as an NCAA sport in the next few years.

Eric Daliere, President – Tarkett North America & Tarkett Sports [FieldTurf], expressed enthusiasm for the growing popularity of multi-use artificial turf field in advancing field hockey. “FieldTurf is thrilled to witness the burgeoning popularity of multi-use artificial turf fields in advancing the sport of field hockey,” shared Daliere. “Our commitment to innovation and quality has always been about more than just creating superior playing surfaces; it’s about fostering the growth of sports and enhancing accessibility for youth athletes,” said “This growing trend not only highlights the versatility and durability of artificial turf but also underscores our shared vision to elevate the sport to new heights. Together, we are laying the groundwork for a future where the passion for field hockey thrives.”

Moreover, the benefits extend beyond collegiate athletics, as multi-use turf facilities serve as hubs for campus club sports, intramurals, community events, and more. With minimal maintenance requirements, increased durability, and resilience in adverse weather conditions, these surfaces are indispensable assets for institutions and communities alike.  In summary, the emergence of multi-use turf facilities offers a vital solution for cost management while promoting collaboration and efficiency across intercollegiate sports programs, intramurals, sports camps, and community events.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.