The Sports Turf Managers Association has recognized five 2020 “Field of the Year” winners, including facilities that span all levels of sport.
Every year, STMA presents its 'Field of the Year' award to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools (K-12), and parks and recreation levels. The 2020 winners are featured below:
- Baseball – Smokies Stadium (Sevierville, Tenn.): Eric Taylor, Head Groundskeeper
- Soccer – New York Red Bulls Academy Field (Whippany, N.J.): Zach Holm, CSFM, Manager, RBTF Operations
College and University
- Football – Bobby Bowden Field at Florida State University (Tallahasse, Fla.): Chris Denson, CSFM, Athletic Turf Superintendent
Schools and Parks
- Baseball – Ray Cipperly Field at Middlesex County Vo-Tech School District (East Brunswick, N.J.): Keith Fisher, Grounds Foreman
- Football – Walsh Field at Pace Academy Riverview Sports Complex (Mableton, Ga.): Daniel Prince, Sports Complex Facility Manager
“2020 has been a trying year for everyone, and sports field managers were forced to adapt and find innovative ways to ensure high-quality field conditions for all athletes,” said Kim Heck, CEO of STMA, in a statement. “Each of our winners displayed a commitment to excellence while upholding the unwavering commitment of STMA members to field safety and playability.”
A panel of 14 judges independently scored entries based on playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program. Judges may not award a field in each category. Winners will receive a plaque, be recognized at the virtual STMA annual Awards Banquet, and featured in a 2021 issue of SportsField Management, the official monthly publication of STMA.