Monday, November 29, 2010

No Bid Artificial Turf for MCPS and MNCPPC

Why put a procurement out for bids when you know what you want? 

And the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) staff knows what they want. See the February 2009 memorandum below.  

MNCPPC only wants Field Turf brand artificial turf. 

And why not, that's the only artificial turf that Montgomery County Public Schools uses as the "standard" for school sites (see page 4).  
Who knew that? When was that deal cut? Where is the MCPS contract with Field Turf?

From this memo we learn that Field Turf artificial turf is the "standard" for Montgomery County Public Schools and is going to be the standard for MNCPPC in all installations in Montgomery County and Prince George's County for a period of 5 years. 

What if after year 3 this particular product is no longer "state of the art?" 
How long is the exclusive no bid arrangement with MCPS, forever? 

Is a 5 year exclusive no bid arrangement the best deal for two counties and a public school system? Clearly its a good deal for the vendor, but what about the taxpayers?

Field Turf Standardization


  1. What is more important is a maintenance contract to ensure proper maintenance and cleaning, plus repairs when needed. Kids throw up after tough workouts. People spill sticky energy drinks. Blood, sweat, etc...are there procedures for taking care of these mishaps? Installing a field and expecting it to last for 15 years without much maintenance may sound like an easy way of spending the capital budget right now, but the costs will outweigh the benefits five years from now. And once you go AT, you can't go back to natural without enormous costs! Mark this anonymous posters words on this! There will come a day when natural (with improved research) will be the "in" field with lasting benefits but all those schools with AT fields won't be able to switch and instead will be strapped with replacement costs of 1/2 million. But it won't matter to most parents since their own kid will benefit NOW from the AT field. And it won't matter to our elected officials because if they take a stand against AT they will lose voters. Sigh.....

  2. The MCPS is getting totally hosed on this deal. These prices are incredibly outrageous. We are in the midst of the most competitive period ever for synthetic turf. Heads will roll in anybody compares these prices with the prices Fieldturf typically quotes all over the country - for an identical product - in a normal competitive bid scenario.

  3. No problem! We have tons of cash here in Montgomery County!

  4. Re; ELA's criteria for choosing a supplier. Specifically the last bullet point "All turf companies should be free of claim and litigation related to the failure of the synthetic turf carpet system or warranty." Please note that this supplier has had huge number of claims against it for the failure of its synthetic turf carpet system. Some of the ones, just regionally, are:
    Cedar Lane Park, Columbia MD originally installed Feb '07 failed and replaced May '10
    Emory & Henry stadium originally installed July '08 failed and replaced April '10
    Liberty University, Lynchburg VA originally installed August '06 failed and replaced Feb '09
    Lynchburg College originally installed Oct' 06 failed and replaced May '09
    Dulles Indoor in Sterling VA orig install Oct '06 failed and replaced April '09
    Add to this dozens and dozens of other system failures all over the country and clearly Fieldturf (a company who's parent company is based in France and Fieldturf is 100% French-owned) should be disqualified for consideration. Let's keep our tax dollars in the USA - not send them to Paris, France...

  5. This was clearly written for Fieldturf by Fieldturf. Their monofilament fails regularly and looks awful after the first year with patcy and streaky areas. FT is by far the most expensive system if you look at comparable bids from other entities.

  6. interesting - but anonymous should at least state that he/she has no financial interest in any systems competing with fieldturf. (I have no dog in this fight except i want high quality/durability as i think artificial turf is the future in areas where demand for rec space vastly exceeds the possible supply of natural fields that remain functional)

  7. @Robin,

    Don't know about the anonymous commenter, but now we have FieldTurf's own words about issues with their product:


If your comment does not appear in 24 hours, please send your comment directly to our e-mail address:
parentscoalitionmc AT