The Arizona Diamondbacks ripped out the grass at Chase Field ahead of the 2019 season, replacing it with synthetic grass. It was a business decision, but it also ended up being a water-conservation measure.
The Phoenix-based major league baseball team thought it would save 2 million gallons a year. In the first season, the savings were closer to 4.5 million gallons, which is roughly the annual water usage of 49 households in the Phoenix area, according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
“This challenge has been approaching for years and has been on our radar,” said Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall, whose team has saved 16 million gallons of water since the turf was installed. “We have tremendous relationships with the state’s legislators and executives, and have had discussions about water for years.”
That’s not to say the Diamondbacks don’t use water, none of which is recycled or reclaimed. There are hundreds of low-flow toilets, urinals and sinks, plus the outfield pool and the need to hose down seats or wash uniforms.