Getting Turf Conscious

COURTESY FIELDTURF

FRESH APPROACH Synthetic playing surfaces, like this one in Oregon in the U.S., are gentle on knees and toes

Pittodrie Stadium, home to Scotland's Aberdeen Football Club, sits on the edge of the North Sea. During the winter — the middle of the Scottish Premier League season — a bitter wind whips up off the water, giving a biting edge to the snow and rain that often accompany Aberdeen's matches. The climate's tough on away fans, but it's even harder on the boggy pitch: last season, Aberdeen spent about €45,000 to maintain its field — a big sum for a declining club in a peripheral league.

Little wonder, then, that when UEFA, European football's governing body,...

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