Since its inception, AstroTurf has dominated the niche conversion market within the synthetic turf industry.
AstroTurf introduced the world to synthetic sports turf in the 1960s, thereby changing athletic competition forever. It went on to invent conversion systems (Magic Carpet, AstroHopper, and AstroLift) that have fundamentally altered stadium operations, affording arenas previously unknown flexibility and revenue opportunities. In fact, AstroTurf conversion systems have been in use since the installation of AstroTurf at the Houston AstroDome in 1966. This system was the forerunner of the AstroHopper type system.
AstroTurf installed convertible systems at virtually all of the high profile venues through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The advent of third-generation (tall-pile, rubber-filled) systems in the late 1990s accelerated the turf industry. The softer feel of the polyethylene blades and cushioned support of the infill were favored by athletes. However, these systems posed a unique challenge to stadiums wishing to host multiple events and sports. Problems arose with containing the infill, and machinery did not have sufficient power to lift the turf containing the 20,000 recycled tires used in the new systems.
Living up to its historical commitment to these facilities, AstroTurf rose to the challenge. In 2008, we designed and installed a Magic Carpet system for the University of Northern Michigan that could successfully roll up tall pile turf without infill. In 2010, the current Magic Carpet II (MCII) system was installed at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, the former home of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams. The product is the latest and greatest in turf technology — the 3D product with rubber infill.
The AstroHopper system was simultaneously improved upon, and it too was redesigned to handle heavy, infilled turf. This system was selected as the conversion system of choice for the Rogers Centre and Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 and again in 2015. The AstroHopper II is also used by the Dakota Dome (2012) among others.
For facilities looking for the flexibility of a conversion system, here are the available options that are offered by AstroTurf:
- Astro-Lift: A forklift attachment is used to roll up panels (Panel System). The size of the forklift that would be required would be dependent on the turf product selected. Generally the forklift is rented due to the cost of the equipment. The turf panels are generally 15’ wide and come in maximum lengths depending on the turf product selected. If an infill (all rubber) turf product is selected the panels can be installed up to 170’. If a non-infill system is selected (shorter pile turf with attached pad) we can install panels up to 200’.
- Astro-Hopper: A ride-on piece of equipment designed to roll turf up and down. This piece of equipment has been around for many years and in some situations we modify / refurbish an existing Astro-Hopper in lieu of building one from scratch (we do have the capability to build one from scratch). The Astro-Hopper allows you to roll the field up in a tight roll and lay the field down in place with little adjustment.
- Magic Carpet 2: This is a full-size field all attached together in one (monolithic) piece. There are pneumatic blowers to reduce friction and aide in lifting the turf in place so the field can handle the weight of the infill. The turf is stored onto a single, mechanical core (cob), which can be surface-floor mounted or recessed into the stadium / venue floor.
- Astro-Mod: Primarily used over smaller areas such as basketball gym floors. The panels can be installed and removed with little to no equipment. However, removal and installation in a large area would require more time than other systems. This is a non-infill system with each panel being approximately 29.5 Sq. Ft per panel.
We are confident that AstroTurf can design a system that will meet all of your needs, budget, and performance requirements. After all, we invented synthetic turf and the conversion system.