Voice of San Diego’s recent series of articles grossly misrepresent the way that FieldTurf has conducted itself with our customers in the San Diego region and around the country. In fact, we believe the accusations and implications contained in these stories runs counter to the very heart of what we are as a company. FieldTurf is dedicated to delivering safe, high-quality products, satisfying our customers and honoring our warranties.

lettertoeditorI want to stress that we are sorry the Duraspine issue happened. This has been a frustrating and disappointing experience for impacted customers, for our employees and for me personally. However, I believe over the past six years we have tried to be forthcoming with our customers given the challenging situation and legal restrictions, and while we are not perfect, we have worked hard with our customers in the San Diego region to make things right.

While these articles may make for good storytelling, they are not supported by the facts and are clearly written to support a predetermined thesis about FieldTurf. Given that, I feel an obligation to our customers and the Voice of San Diego readers to ensure that our side is represented and that the key facts on the issue are available for public review.

The issue does not create a “hazard” for players. Contrary to what the story claims, the issue with Duraspine has not impacted safety — only how a field looks as it wears. The safety measures on the Duraspine fields that had to be replaced were always intact and were never compromised, as long as the field was being properly maintained. This is no different and no less safe than any of our other installations.

We have always lived up to our warranties. It’s simple – if a customer’s field wore out prematurely, we gave them two options: (1) to get a replacement field at no cost with no strings attached. The eight-year warranty on this turf remains in place, and in many cases the new fields have significantly exceeded this period. Or (2) to get a replacement field with a new warranty (generally providing at least 12 years of total warrantied field life) at roughly the cost of removing and disposing of the original field.

Taxpayer money has not been squandered. In fact, with both the replacement and upgrade options, the annual field cost has been equal to, or in many cases much less than, the projected annual cost of the original field. This has been an economic benefit for the customer.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

Our products are popular because they are unique. Customers choose FieldTurf because our proprietary design and patented system delivers unmatched performance and safety. These claims are backed up by independent peer-review studies published in leading sports medicine journals (see here and here). The infill, not the fibers, is what protects athletes. It’s also important to note that our new fibers outperform the competition in multiple industry tests, including Pennsylvania State’s Fiber Wear Testing and Labosport’s Fiber Performance Index.

We believe all these factors explain why FieldTurf is the turf provider of choice for professional sports teams and colleges across the country, including the Seattle Seahawks, University of Notre Dame and Ohio State University. And it’s also why many San Diego school districts have repeatedly chosen FieldTurf, despite the fact that we’ve had to replace a number of fields under warranty.

Throughout our handling of replacements and upgrades for Duraspine fields in the San Diego area and nationwide, we have sought to put our customers’ interests first – and we will continue to do so. Our customer relationships are incredibly important to us and are critical to our reputation and success as a business.

Additionally, I take compliance with our Code of Ethics, policies and the law very seriously. Our employees – and our external contractors and independent contractors – are held to high standards and are accountable when it comes to meeting these standards.

As we move forward, we will continue to work with our customers to ensure these issues are resolved, and we will continue delivering superior play surfaces for children across the country.

Eric Daliere is CEO and president of FieldTurf.

    This article relates to: Opinion, School Finances

    Written by Opinion

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    Rosita Sanchez
    Rosita Sanchez

    So basically if your field fails they will replace it with the exact same system at no charge. Which is failing. Pulled from a warranty letter from Fieldturf. 

    "Original Duraspine design:  2.5 inch, 36 oz face weight, 3- layer 9.2 lb in-fill system, porous finger coated backing;  Re use of some of the current field infill in the new field mid-layer.  Original warranty remains in effect, and will not reset from the date of replacement.  Same field layout to include all markings and logos.  Price: No Charge Special Upgrade Offer; one of the following products: 

    1. FieldTurf REVOLUTION 2.5”-  Best polymer, new "ridged" blade design which eliminates weak points and improves resiliency, 40 oz face weight, 3-layer 9.2 lbs in-fill system, and porous finger coated backing. The testing completed on this fiber has proven to be far superior in terms of wear, resiliency, and feel to other fibers currently on the market. It is manufactured by FieldTurf, not a third party supplier.  Price: $175,000.00 (Taxes and bonds are not included) 

    2. FieldTurf CLASSIC HD 2.5”  Slit-film synthetic turf system designed to consistently outperform competing slit-film yarns in the industry. Complete with a very strong polymer and the proper concentration of UV stabilizers, the thick design and precision cut pattern of the HD yarn reduces infill splash. Coupled with FieldTurf’s patented, 3-layer, heavy infill system and state-of-the-art SureLock coating method, the FieldTurf Classic HD turf system has been designed to be the very a leading slit-film synthetic turf system in the industry with unparalleled player safety and turf drainage rates.  Price: $175,000.00 (Taxes and bonds are not included) 


    Carl Starrett
    Carl Starrett

    The real issue, as I see it, would be to look into FieldTurf's claims about what it offered to the school districts. Let's say the turf started to fail 4 years into the 8-year warranty. According to this opinion piece, the school can either get a replacement field at no cost with 4 years remaining or pay a reduced cost for a new and upgraded field with a 12-year warranty. And to clarify, my reference to a reduced fee is my interpretation of what FieldTurf seems to be saying.

    So were those options truly presenting to the schools in question? I don't remember reading anything either way on that issue. And if the FieldTurf did present those options to the schools, what went into their decision making process? Was it a reduced price than the cost of a new field and did Voice of San Diego follow up on that angle?

    Ashly McGlone
    Ashly McGlone

    @Carl Starrett Hi Carol. Several FieldTurf offers looked like these ones sent to Grossmont and Fallbrook school districts. (http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2013Granite-Hills-Offer.pdfhttp://www.voiceofsandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2013Fallbrook.pdf). You'll see the free option listed is for the same defective Duraspine turf. Districts were also encouraged to pay to upgrade. (See http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2013Granite.pdf). Also, the warranty period is normally 8 years. (see http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2010CarlsbadHSTurfWarranty.pdf) These documents were all linked in the first story published. Many more source documents can be found by clicking through the text or the map feature. 

    bbq subscriber

    My question is what is the expected life of a FieldTurf or any artificial Turf field.  I would expect that a product with an 8 year warrantee would have a useful life of 12 plus years. It does not appear so in this case. Is the warrantee prorated, ie partial used up for each year the turf is used? (Pyramid Scheme, keeping the site for FieldTurf).  The annual cost for these fields is over $25,000, how many of these fields are in the county?  Again no clear analysis of cost/benefit for the under reviewed use of taxpayer funds.   I am all for athletics and safety of play but at the expense of other educational needs I struggle with the outlay of $$$$ to maintain these fields of dreams.


    Jerry Hall
    Jerry Hall subscribermember

    Surely the FieldTurf folks will help VOSD paint a more clear picture by filling in the accounting-blanks relating to lost district accounting documents for some of the fields in question?

    Of course any other documents needed by VOSD will be provided immediately?

    Or are we just playing a corporate PR game, where it is clear there are procurement improprieties, and where we will see little to no meaningful followup?

    steve saunders
    steve saunders subscriber

    @Jerry Hall Huh?  I think the district accounting could and should be provided by the district.  They are the ones accountable to the citizens they work for and from whom collect their salaries.  FieldTurf has done a nice job of defending themselves from this bash-journalism.  

    Thomas Smulski
    Thomas Smulski

    "Additionally, I take compliance with our Code of Ethics, policies and the law very seriously. Our employees – and our external contractors and independent contractors – are held to high standards and are accountable when it comes to meeting these standards."

    And yet, despite offering Oceanside Unified employee Scott Wing money in exchange for helping him "close the deal", Tim Coury is still listed as one of your sales reps: