The Cost to Build a Grass Soccer Field (Natural Vs Artificial)

Building a soccer field is an expensive and time-consuming project. The prices vary depending upon the type of grass and region.

Synthetic or artificial turf is the most commonly used type of grass not only for soccer fields but also for hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and football fields. This article discussed the cost to build both artificial turf fields and natural grass fields in detail.

If you’re planning to build a soccer field in your institution or for your community, then read this guide carefully till the very end.

Soccer field from a corner

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Grass Soccer Field?

Constructing a sports field appears to be a pipe dream but it’s not actually as overwhelming as you might think.

The first step is to properly understand all the available options and then you can start the process by choosing the type of grass that suits your needs and budget the best.

You can use the following information for both football and soccer fields. However, this article focuses on soccer fields and the construction cost may vary depending upon your sports field. The overall cost is divided into the following.

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  • Location
  • Field size
  • Schedule of construction
  • Labor costs
  • Irrigation system
  • Amount of required site work

You might also need to consult with your local or state regulations that govern the construction process.

Cost for Artificial Turf

The upfront cost of artificial grass is a lot more than natural grass but it actually saves you money in the long run. According to the Sports Turf Managers Association, the cost ranges somewhere between 6 to 10.25 US dollars per square foot.

This cost includes everything from infill materials, irrigation, drainage, and labor costs to carpet, installation, base layer materials, and field excavation.

So, you should allocate a conservative price of 8 US dollars per square foot for a full-sized football or soccer field if you want to go with an artificial turf project.

Artificial grass provides a smooth, spongy, and level surface and the installation process can take up to 3 months from start to end. It’s important to note that the modern artificial turfs mimic most qualities of natural grass and can be used at all game levels.

Cost According to Soccer field Dimensions

The dimensions of a typical field for a soccer game with the range found optimal by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association are:

  • 70 to 80 yards in length
  • 110 to 120 yards in width

However, the size also depends upon the field type. The following table explains the soccer field construction cost of different types of soccer fields.

Type of FieldTotal AreaTotal Artificial Turf Cost
Junior High School49,500 square feet297,000 – 507375
High School64,350 square feet386,100 – 659,587.5
Women’s28,800 – 54,000 square feet172,800 – 295,200 / 324,000 – 553,500
Men’s64,350 – 81,000 square feet386,100 – 659,587.5 / 486,000 – 830,250
Soccer Field Areas and Turf Cost

Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf

Consistency and player safety are two of the most important features that soccer players need on a soccer field. A well-maintained modern artificial turf field offers a soft surface to minimize injuries in soccer players.

Soccer fields with Artificial Turf usually have high temperatures as compared to natural grass fields. However, it’s directly linked to the weather conditions. It means if the climate is hot and sunny, the temperature of synthetic turf fields will be high.

The average temperature of soccer fields with synthetic turf ranges from 140 to 183 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cost for Natural Grass

When it comes to natural grass fields, there are different options available that you can choose, and here’s a detailed breakdown of each type.

  • If you opt for the best type of natural grass field which comes with a sand rootzone, then it’ll cost you 5 to 8 US dollars per square foot.
  • The natural grass field construction with a sand cap will cost you somewhere between 2.75 to 4 US dollars.
  • Using native soil (but not the one present on-site) will cost you 1.5 to 3 US dollars per square foot.
  • If you’re planning to use native soil of the site then the natural grass field construction will cost you 0.60 to 1.50 US dollars per square foot.

The cost breakdown mentioned above includes all the operations needed to build natural grass fields including labor costs, installation process, rootzone type, and grading.

Pros and Cons of Natural Grass

One of the best benefits of natural grass (for places with hot weather) is that it works as a temperature reducer. It allows players to run comfortably even in the hot weather and the temperature of the natural grass field rarely goes above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the downside, natural grass costs more money on maintenance every year than artificial turf.

Maintenance Costs

The entire field in a soccer game, unlike other athletic fields, is used heavily. That’s why it also comes with a high maintenance cost whether you’re using artificial turf or natural grass.

Artificial Turf Maintenance Cost

Many people believe that artificial or synthetic turf fields don’t require maintenance so you don’t need to spend money for that purpose. It’s not true at all because synthetic fields cost money for the following purposes.

  • Removing the accumulation of organic matter
  • Repainting lines
  • Drainage maintenance and repair
  • Spraying equipment to minimize odors and static cling
  • Chemical disinfectants
  • Irrigation to maintain temperature
  • Additional infill  

It’s true that synthetic fields cost you less money for maintenance as compared to natural turfgrass fields but they aren’t maintenance-free.

An average artificial soccer field can cost you around 7,000 to 10,000 US dollars per year along with 300 to 500 labor hours.

If the soccer turf fields are used for multiple sports then the average maintenance cost per year will be high.

Natural Grass Maintenance Cost

The maintenance cost of a soccer field with natural grass is more than a turf football field but not a significant margin. The maintenance cost varied depending upon multiple variables such as:

  • Location
  • Climate
  • Hours of use
  • Type of grass
  • Rootzone type

It’s difficult to estimate the annual maintenance cost of a natural grass soccer field. However, the average cost can range from 10,000 US dollars to 30,000 US dollars per year due to high materials costs.

Duke University, at the college level, roughly spends about 25,000 US dollars on its sports field based on sand and it requires about 500 hours of labor.

On the other hand, a football field based on native soil located in Southern Carolina spends about 9,000 US dollars to 13,000 US dollars on yearly maintenance.

Other Costs Involved in the Construction of a Soccer Field

While allocating your budget for natural grass or an artificial turf project, you must consider all the factors that go around and under the pitch.

For example, if you’re planning to replace your current artificial surface, then you’ll need to consider the amount of material that can be reused. Several layers such as steel building and structural supports, gravel, and sand are placed between the actual ground and artificial turf.

The construction process for a new soccer field will start with excavations of the current ground. Then the supporting layers will be added after the grading process. Climate and the quality of the soil will also affect your budget.

Soccer fields must also have enough space around the boundary lines for corner kicks, throw-ins officials, substitutes, and players to run. Other than that, you’ll also need to spend additional costs on adequate lighting for the entire playing surface for night games.

Soccer Products FAQ

Can I Use Running Shoes for Soccer? 

You can play soccer in running shoes, but you won’t have the best performance unless you wear cleats or soccer boots.

Why are soccer balls black and white?

Soccer balls are traditionally black and white because when soccer was first shown on TV it was in black and white, so the mix of black and white on the balls helped viewers see the ball easier. 

How hard and what pressure should a soccer ball be?

The FIFA regulations say that the soccer balls should have a pressure between 8.81757 psi (0.6 atm) and 16.1655 psi (1.1 atm). If you’re playing soccer with friends, then opt for a pressure amount from the lower range.

What is the size of goals in soccer?

5-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-7 and under-8 soccer games
7-A-Side has dimensions that are 12-ft wide by 6-ft high again. Such soccer goals are for under-9 and under-10 soccer games
9-A-Side has dimensions that are 16-ft wide by 7-ft high. Such soccer goals are for under-11 and under-12 soccer game
11-A-Side or full-size soccer goal has dimensions that are 24-ft wide by 8-ft high for the under-15 and over. Whereas, for the under-13 and under-14, it is 21 ft wide by 7-ft high

What is the soccer ball size and weight for each age group?

Size 1 - 3 years or under - 18 to 20 inches - 195 to 205 grams
Size 2 - 3 to 5 years - 20 to 22 inches - U4 - 250 to 280 grams
Size 3 - 5 to 8 years - 23 to 24 inches - U5 to U8 - 300 to 320 grams
Size 4 - 8 to 12 years - 25 to 26 inches - U8 to U12 - 350 to 390 grams
Size 5 - More than 12 years - 27 to 28 inches - U12 to Pro - 410 to 450 grams

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