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Artificial Turf Too Hot for Soccer in Modesto

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MODESTO -- The usual cool green grass doesn’t offer much relief from the beating sun with a temperature of 88 degrees.

Over on the artificial turf at Modesto’s Mary Grogan Community Park, it’s even hotter at 146 degrees Fahrenheit a little before noon on Wednesday. The turf was even hotter, too dangerous for children to play soccer.

“We were worried about heat related illnesses, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, things like that, so we decided we needed to close the park for the week and reevaluate this weekend,” city spokesperson Amy Vickery said.

The artificial turf is so hot, city officials decided to shut down the park on Monday.

“It's tough because I mean you just don't have the ability to go train,” Carlos Zavala, the Executive Director with the Modesto Youth Soccer Association said.

Zavala said the park’s temporary closure is not easy on their kids but he agreed, and even recommended to city officials to close the park during this extreme heat.

“Playing on turf during the summer months is very dangerous,” he said.

Hundreds of kids and families were expecting to play soccer this week.

“It's a loss for those kids who look forward to playing out here and it's a loss for the city because we had to cancel a lot of the reservations,” Vickery said.

Zavala told FOX40, right now, his players have nowhere to practice. His hope is that the Modesto Youth Soccer Association will be able to open an indoor soccer facility in some years time.

“You have to build an indoor soccer facility. There's no other way of looking at it,” Zavala said.

The city is hoping to reopen the park by next Monday.