AstroTurf: RIP

Artificial turf: an innovation that changed the face of professional sport by further divorcing our sporting selves from nature. AstroTurf, the first artificial playing field surface, was created in 1966, when it was used to carpet the Astrodome, inspiring the AstroTurf brand name.

AstroTurf-maker Southwest Recreational Industries Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection and is going out of business. SRI, which entered into the artificial turf business in 1989, initially bought AstroTurf Industries Inc. from St. Louis-based Balsam Corp., when it had filed for bankruptcy in 1994.

The irony? Long after the companies themselves become extinct, the artificial fields they have spawned live on to remind us of their existence.

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