West Salem Goes All-Black Field Turf, With an Unexpected Benefit

Written By:  •  Friday, September 7, 2012

West Salem Oregon High School Titans black field turf - field house


The West Salem High School Titans in Oregon were known for wearing all-black uniforms, so they got an all-black field. Seems a little gimmicky at best and like it would be way more hot at worst. But guess what benefit they really got out of the deal?

How about $150,000. Apparently, Field Turf is black after manufacture and needs a treatment to be made green. Or blue. Or red. Or grey and purple. So, if the company skips the colorization process, it saves the school one hundred fifty large. Quite a savings.

West Salem Oregon High School Titans black field turf - install

Workers install the black field turf at West Salem High

In fact, so much of a savings, it allowed the team to switch to new green uniforms without barely denting the savings. Also avoids other teams complaining about the color match.

While this color is the first of its kind in an outdoor stadium, its not the first black football field. The Nebraska Danger play indoor football on a 50-yard black field.

West Salem Oregon High School Titans black field turf - closeup

Close up of the field on what they call, “The Black Hole”

The look is pretty interesting, though with the rubber added, the field is a little more of a dark charcoal grey than truly black, which is good for depth perception. The yard markers, end zones, and mid-field logo really stand out.

West Salem Oregon High School Titans black field turf - midfield

Midfield green and white logo really stand out on the black


So, what do you think? Neat way to rally the troops, or silly gimmick? Are you the type to wish someone had outlawed this madness before it started, or are you trying to figure out how to get burnt orange into U of Texas stadium? Carbon Fiber and metallic for Autzen Stadium? Stupid chicken-wire and cream to match the helmets at Georgia Tech?

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JR Francis

JR Francis is an actor, writer, director, graphic designer, UX guru, father, comedian, and craft beer snob. You can reach him at jrfrancis@sportslogos.net or on Twitter @JRFrancisSLN*One of several full-time uniform reporters this site has including its founder, Chris Creamer, who started his site in 1997

  • Matt Marczel

    Looks like asphalt. Cool!

  • Cheryl

    could be interesting when they play a team with all black uniforem

  • Michael Kersey

    Won’t happen! This is West Salem’s field, not the opponents!

  • Jed

    Football should always be meant to be played on a green grass surface as this is nothing more than a gimmick…what next…a yellow field?

  • Ian

    I dont have a problem with it…there is no law saying the field has to be green…and if it saves the school that much money thats great.

  • paulywrath

    Wait! They change their field’s color from green to black to match their all-black uniforms, but used the savings to change their uniforms to green? Is this a joke article? Because that is literally how you write a joke.

    • metalx

      The team would have had an unfair advantage if the uniforms were black. So the school had some foresight and changed the colour of the uniforms to green. Smart move on their part.

    • 11in ’11

      A similar situation arose in a school that installed an all-color field somewhere else. An opposing team complained that their uniforms matching the field was an unfair advantage…West Salem changed uniforms so it wouldn’t happen to them.

  • Peter

    I enjoy playing on this field. Any one who thinks this is a gimmick should go sulk in a corner and rethink their life.

  • ingmar66

    Looks like a blacktop, very urban and tough. Where are the hoops with the torn backboards and the iron chain nets? I like it a lot. During the Olympics this summer they had blue artificial turf field hockey pitches in London and the lines and the ball were much sharper on tv. Too bad field hockey sucks otherwise, but the blue field was a pleasant surprise. Go WS Titans!

  • Jeriat

    Do those guys have ANY idea how hot that’s gonna get in the summer……?

  • Lights Out

    Very cool. Take notes, Raiders.