Choosing the right turfgrass species will ensure that sports fields are aesthetically pleasing, playable, and easy to maintain for years to come. There are so many to choose from, which is why we’ve assembled a list of four common (and well-liked) turfgrass species used for sports fields. Some of the best and most common sports turfgrass species include bermudagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue. Keep reading to see the full lineup and learn more about each species:


Bermudagrass, a warm-season turfgrass known for its durability and heat tolerance, is a common and respected sports turf option. With lush, fine-textured blades and a robust root system, bermudagrass thrives in sun-drenched environments, making it a good choice for sports fields and stadiums in warmer climates.

One of the standout features of Bermudagrass is its rapid rate of recovery and resilience, allowing it to withstand heavy foot traffic and the rigors of athletic play. Sports turf managers may find value in its ability to rebound quickly, which translates to a consistently playable surface for various sporting events, from football to soccer. Plus, its natural density promotes excellent wear resistance, giving athletes a reliable and safe playing environment.

Bermudagrass excels in its adaptability to different mowing heights, allowing turf managers to customize the playing surface to meet specific sport requirements. Its drought tolerance and water efficiency also make it an environmentally conscious choice for sports fields, especially in regions with water conservation concerns. Barenbrug Monaco Bermudagrass is a great example of a bermudagrass with excellent density and wear tolerance. Its dark green color and high fall color retention make it aesthetically pleasing, too. Plus, it also has a quicker spring green-up, meaning athletes can hit the field earlier than expected.

Why it’s a good choice: Bermudagrass is one of the best sports turfs, especially in warm climates. It is known for its excellent tolerance, a fast recovery rate, and high drought resistance. Bermudagrass can also withstand heavy foot traffic and provides a dense playing surface.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass, celebrated for its lush, emerald-green appearance and cool-season adaptability, has is a top choice for sports turf applications. Ideal for cooler climates, Kentucky bluegrass thrives in temperate regions and provides a resilient playing surface for various sports. Its ability to recuperate quickly from stress and wear makes it a reliable option for high-traffic areas, ensuring that sports fields maintain a consistently pristine appearance.

One of the distinctive qualities of Kentucky bluegrass is its exceptional cold tolerance, allowing it to maintain its vibrant green hue even during cooler seasons. This characteristic makes it a favored choice for sports fields in northern regions, contributing to year-round playability and aesthetic appeal.

For a Kentucky bluegrass that germinates fast and creates a dense sward with excellent sod strength, check out 365ss coated with XCD.

Why it’s a good choice: Kentucky bluegrass is another popular choice that is well-suited for sports fields in cooler climates. It offers exceptional durability, good disease resistance, and looks great, too. Kentucky bluegrass forms a dense turf, making it perfect for sports activities that demand traction and stability.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass, a cool-season grass with fine blades and a vibrant green color, is commonly used as sports turf because of its rapid growth and visual appeal. Quick germination and establishment make perennial ryegrass stand out as a great turf for rejuvenating sports fields and ensuring a reliable playing surface in a short time frame.

The lush growth of perennial ryegrass contributes to its popularity as sports turf, particularly in temperate climates. Its ability to create a resilient and uniform playing surface makes it an excellent choice for various sports, from soccer to baseball, and its fine texture enhances ball roll and provides athletes with a consistent playing experience.

Perennial ryegrass is adaptable to both full sun and partial shade, offering flexibility in choosing locations for optimal growth. Plus, its tolerance to close mowing further enhances its suitability for sports fields where a manicured appearance is essential. A product like Barenbrug’s Advanced RPR+XCD provides quick germination and has better genetics than other grasses, allowing the plant to fill in and recover from damage faster. Plus, it’s coated with Foliar-Pak XCD for maximum germination and establishment.

Why it’s a good choice: Perennial ryegrass is often used in sports fields with cool-season environments. It germinates quickly, making it ideal for overseeding worn-out areas. Perennial ryegrass also exhibits superb wear tolerance, quick recovery, and excellent color retention, ensuring a vibrant, green field throughout the year.

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue, a robust and versatile cool-season grass, offers a resilient playing surface with minimal maintenance. Known for its deep root system and drought tolerance, tall fescue excels in a variety of climates, from cooler regions to dry, hot ones. On mid-latitude fields, it can be used alone or as a combo with other cool-season grasses like perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass.

The adaptability of tall fescue to different soil types and its capacity to thrive in both sun and partial shade makes it an ideal candidate for sports turf. Its durability under heavy traffic and fine-textured appearance ensures an attractive and playable surface for various sports, from soccer to football. Tall Fescue has relatively low maintenance requirements, generally requiring less water and fertilizer compared to other grass varieties—bringing sustainability and cost-effectiveness to the playing field.

With its ability to withstand wear and tear, maintain color in diverse conditions, and its overall density, it’s no wonder it’s a popular choice. Choosing a product like Advanced Athletic Tuff Mix, which is a mixture of several grasses including 80% turf-type tall fescue (TTTF) can provide a perfect blend of strength and vibrancy. Another great option is Advanced TTTF Blend coated with Foliar-Pak XCD will ensure uniform turf through its use of several fescue varieties selected for their color, appearance, and resistance to brown patches and gray leaf spots.

Why it’s a good choice: Tall fescue is favored for its adaptability to different soil types and weather conditions (including drought). It also boasts low maintenance requirements. Tall fescue provides a dense turf and can handle heavy use, making it suitable for sports fields subject to intense activity.

Choosing A Sports Turfgrass

At the end of the day, the choice you make for your sports turf will depend on various factors such as climate, soil conditions, and intended usage of the sports field. Whether you’re not sure where to start or want a second opinion, one of our knowledgeable representatives will work with you to determine what kind of turf will serve you best.