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When Did Busch Stadium II Remove Their Astro Turf When Did Busch Stadium II Remove Their Astro Turf

Garden Essentials

When Did Busch Stadium II Remove Their Astro Turf

Written by: Noah Bennett

Discover the history of Bush Stadium II and when they removed Astro Turf. Transform your garden with our expert tips and make it a lush paradise.

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Bush Stadium II, also known as Busch Memorial Stadium, was a historic baseball venue located in St. Louis, Missouri. The stadium served as the home of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1966 to 2005.

One unique characteristic of Bush Stadium II was its playing surface. Unlike traditional grass fields found in most ballparks, Bush Stadium II initially featured Astro Turf, a synthetic material designed to simulate the look and feel of natural grass.

However, over time, the use of Astro Turf became a topic of debate among players, coaches, and fans. The artificial surface had both advantages and drawbacks, leading to a decision to remove it and transition to natural grass.

In this article, we will delve into the timeline of when Bush Stadium II removed Astro Turf, explore the reasons behind this decision, and examine the impact it had on players and gameplay.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bush Stadium II removed Astro Turf and switched to natural grass due to player safety concerns and a desire for a more authentic baseball experience, impacting gameplay and aesthetics positively.
  • The transition to natural grass at Bush Stadium II brought softer, player-friendly surfaces, reducing injuries and adding unpredictability to gameplay, enhancing the overall baseball experience.

Astro Turf at Bush Stadium II

When Bush Stadium II opened its doors in 1966, it was one of the first stadiums in Major League Baseball to feature Astro Turf. Astro Turf, a brand of artificial turf, offered numerous benefits compared to natural grass:

  • Consistency: The synthetic surface provided a consistent playing field, unaffected by weather conditions such as rain or excessive heat.
  • Durability: Astro Turf was designed to withstand heavy usage and was resistant to wear and tear, making it ideal for hosting multiple events.
  • Playability: The consistent surface allowed for predictable bounces and game dynamics, reducing the unpredictability often associated with natural grass fields.
  • Maintenance: Unlike natural grass, Astro Turf required less maintenance, including watering, mowing, and fertilizing.

These benefits made Astro Turf an attractive choice for many stadiums, including Bush Stadium II. The Cardinals organization believed that the synthetic surface would provide a modern and efficient field for their players.

For over three decades, the Cardinals played their games on the Astro Turf at Bush Stadium II. The artificial surface became part of the stadium’s identity and was associated with the team’s success, including winning three World Series championships in 1967, 1982, and 2006.

Decision to Remove Astro Turf

As the years went by, the use of Astro Turf in baseball stadiums began to face criticism and scrutiny. Many players and coaches expressed concerns about the impact of the artificial surface on their performance and overall player safety.

One of the main issues with Astro Turf was its unforgiving nature. Unlike natural grass, which provides some cushioning and absorbs impact, Astro Turf was harder and less forgiving on players’ joints and muscles. This increased the risk of injuries, particularly in high-intensity sports like baseball.

Furthermore, the ‘turf burn’ phenomenon became a common complaint among players. Sliding on the artificial surface often resulted in painful abrasions and burns, causing discomfort and affecting players’ ability to perform at their best.

Recognizing these concerns, the decision was made to remove the Astro Turf at Bush Stadium II and transition to natural grass. The move was driven by a desire to provide a safer and more player-friendly playing surface.

Additionally, there was a growing trend in baseball to return to traditional grass fields. Many new stadiums were being built with natural grass, which offered a more aesthetically pleasing and authentic baseball experience.

The decision to remove Astro Turf at Bush Stadium II was met with mixed reactions. Some fans and players were nostalgic about the unique qualities of the artificial surface, while others welcomed the change, hoping for improved playability and reduced injuries.

The removal process was meticulously planned and executed to ensure a smooth transition from Astro Turf to natural grass. Extensive research was conducted to select the most suitable type of grass for the St. Louis climate, considering factors such as sunlight exposure, drainage, and durability.

Transition to Natural Grass

The process of transitioning from Astro Turf to natural grass at Bush Stadium II required careful planning and implementation. It involved several steps to ensure the successful establishment of a healthy and playable grass field.

Firstly, the existing Astro Turf had to be removed completely. This involved stripping away the synthetic turf material and preparing the base underneath. Any remnants or debris were cleared to create a clean slate for the new grass.

Next, the field underwent soil preparation to ensure optimal growing conditions for the grass. Soil testing was conducted to assess the nutrient levels and pH balance. Based on the results, fertilizers and amendments were added to promote healthy grass growth.

Once the soil was prepared, the installation of the natural grass began. Sod or seed options were considered, depending on factors such as budget, time constraints, and the desired timeline for the field to be ready for play.

If sod was chosen, it involved laying pre-grown patches of grass onto the field. This provided an instant green surface and reduced the time required for the grass to fully establish. On the other hand, seeding required more time for the grass to grow and fill in the entire field.

Regular irrigation was crucial during the establishment phase to ensure proper hydration and root development. Adequate watering schedules were implemented, taking into account factors such as weather conditions and the specific needs of the grass species chosen.

Maintenance practices such as mowing, fertilizing, aerating, and overseeding were carried out to promote root growth, density, and resilience. The groundskeeping staff employed specialized tools and techniques to keep the grass healthy and well-maintained throughout the baseball season.

The transition to natural grass brought about significant changes in the aesthetics and playing experience at Bush Stadium II. The lush green field provided a more visually appealing backdrop for the games, evoking a sense of nostalgia and tradition.

Players also experienced a difference in the feel of the playing surface. Natural grass offered a softer and more forgiving surface, reducing the risk of injuries and providing a more comfortable playing environment.

Overall, the transition to natural grass at Bush Stadium II was a significant undertaking but ultimately proved to be a successful decision. It breathed new life into the stadium, creating a more authentic and player-friendly baseball experience for future generations to enjoy.

Bush Stadium II removed AstroTurf in 1996 and replaced it with natural grass.

Impact on Players and Gameplay

The transition from Astro Turf to natural grass at Bush Stadium II had a profound impact on both players and the overall gameplay experience. The change in playing surface brought about several notable improvements.

Firstly, the switch to natural grass significantly reduced the risk of injuries for players. The softer and more forgiving surface of the grass absorbed impact and provided better traction, reducing the strain on players’ joints and muscles. This allowed them to move more freely and confidently, enhancing their performance on the field.

Furthermore, the elimination of ‘turf burn’ was a welcome relief for players. Sliding and diving on the natural grass no longer resulted in painful abrasions and burns, improving player comfort and safety.

In terms of gameplay, the transition to natural grass had implications for various aspects of the game. The predictability and consistency of the artificial surface was replaced by the natural variations and nuances of a living grass field.

The ball’s behavior on natural grass became less predictable, with factors such as the height and moisture of the grass influencing its trajectory and speed. This added an element of uncertainty and strategy to the game, as players had to adjust to the ever-changing conditions of the field.

Fielding also saw a noticeable impact. Infielders had to adjust their approach, as ground balls on natural grass could take unpredictable hops or change speed, requiring quick reflexes and adaptability. Outfielders had to gauge the ball’s trajectory and judge its bounce off the grass, adding another layer of complexity to their positioning and catching mechanics.

Pitchers also experienced changes in their performance on natural grass. The grip and release of the ball could be affected by the moisture and texture of the grass, potentially altering the movement of their pitches. This required pitchers to make adjustments and refine their strategies accordingly.

Overall, the transition to natural grass at Bush Stadium II brought about a more dynamic and engaging playing experience. The inherent qualities of the natural surface allowed for a greater range of possibilities and challenges, increasing the strategic elements of the game and providing a more authentic baseball experience for both players and fans.

Maintenance and Costs

Maintaining a natural grass playing surface at Bush Stadium II required ongoing care and attention. Regular maintenance practices were implemented to ensure the health, appearance, and playability of the field.

One of the primary maintenance tasks was mowing. The grass was mowed at specific heights to promote healthy growth and maintain an optimal playing surface. The frequency of mowing varied depending on factors such as weather conditions and the rate of grass growth.

Fertilizing was another crucial aspect of maintenance. The grass received regular applications of fertilizers to provide essential nutrients and encourage strong root development. Soil testing was conducted periodically to determine the specific nutrient requirements of the grass and adjust the fertilization program accordingly.

Aerating the field was also necessary to improve soil drainage and reduce soil compaction. This process involved creating small holes in the turf to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the root zone, promoting healthy growth and preventing the development of compacted soil layers.

In addition, the field underwent overseeding to maintain a dense and healthy turf. Overseeding involved spreading new grass seeds over the existing grass to fill in any thin or bare areas, ensuring a consistent playing surface.

Irrigation played a crucial role in maintaining optimal soil moisture levels. The field was equipped with an irrigation system that delivered water evenly across the surface. Careful monitoring of weather conditions and grass needs helped determine the appropriate frequency and duration of irrigation.

Proper pest and weed management were essential to keep the grass field healthy and free from unwanted intruders. Regular inspections and targeted treatments were carried out to control pests and prevent the spread of weeds that could disrupt the integrity of the playing surface.

As for the costs associated with maintaining a natural grass field, they can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the field, the type of grass used, and the level of play. Expenses may include the purchase of fertilizers, seeds, and other necessary materials, as well as the cost of equipment, irrigation systems, and labor.

While the maintenance of a natural grass field can be demanding and require financial investment, the aesthetic appeal, player benefits, and overall gameplay experience make it a worthwhile endeavor for many stadiums, including Bush Stadium II.


The decision to remove Astro Turf and transition to natural grass at Bush Stadium II marked a significant milestone in the stadium’s history. The change was driven by concerns for player safety and the desire to provide a more authentic and enjoyable baseball experience.

The Astro Turf, with its consistency and durability, served its purpose for several decades but ultimately faced criticism for its unforgiving nature and increased risk of injuries. The transition to natural grass addressed these concerns, providing a softer and more player-friendly playing surface.

The change had a profound impact on players and the overall gameplay experience. The reduction in injuries and the elimination of turf burns improved player comfort and safety. The variations and nuances of the natural grass added elements of unpredictability and strategy to the game, enhancing the overall excitement and challenge.

Maintaining a natural grass field at Bush Stadium II required diligent care and regular maintenance practices. Mowing, fertilizing, aerating, and pest management were just some of the tasks necessary to keep the field in optimal condition.

While the transition to natural grass incurred costs and demanded ongoing maintenance efforts, the benefits in terms of player safety, gameplay experience, and aesthetics outweighed these considerations.

In conclusion, the decision to remove Astro Turf and replace it with natural grass at Bush Stadium II was a positive and necessary step. It brought about a safer playing surface, enhanced the overall gameplay experience, and added a touch of tradition and authenticity to the historic stadium.

The transition to natural grass at Bush Stadium II stands as a testament to the continuous evolution and improvement of baseball arenas, ensuring that players and fans can enjoy the game to its fullest extent for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about When Did Busch Stadium II Remove Their Astro Turf

What type of turf did Bush Stadium II remove?

Bush Stadium II removed Astro Turf, which was a type of artificial turf commonly used in sports stadiums.
Why did Bush Stadium II decide to remove Astro Turf?

The decision to remove Astro Turf was made because it was not as comfortable or safe for the players as natural grass.
What type of grass did Bush Stadium II replace the Astro Turf with?

After removing the Astro Turf, Bush Stadium II replaced it with natural grass, which provides a more traditional and enjoyable playing surface for the athletes.
How did the removal of Astro Turf impact the playing experience at Bush Stadium II?

The removal of Astro Turf and the installation of natural grass improved the playing experience at Bush Stadium II by providing a more cushioned and natural surface for the athletes.
Did the removal of Astro Turf have any environmental benefits?

Yes, the removal of Astro Turf and the use of natural grass at Bush Stadium II had environmental benefits, as natural grass helps to absorb carbon dioxide and reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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