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ABOUT

Find out how GrassMaster Solutions got started back in 1989 and learn about the evolution of GrassMaster and PlayMaster in the sports grass industry. The company mission remains constant: to provide everyone in the sports chain with the perfect pitch. 

Late 1980’s

Desso Sport Systems responds to a plea from the The Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation to find a pitch which combines the advantages of both natural and synthetic grass, and can be used for training as well as competition. That’s how it came to be called a “Wetra field”, an abbreviation of the Dutch words for competition and training.

1989

Desso invents a system with fibres injected into the subbase of the pitch to stabilize the natural grass. The first pitch laid serves as a test for Desso.

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Early 1990’s

Professional football teams start taking an interest in GrassMaster’s hybrid grass system as a training pitch.

1992

The first injected hybrid grass pitch under the GrassMaster name is installed at De Vliert in ‘s Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. Due to its success plenty more pitch installations are made for local amateur football clubs and municipalities.

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1996

Huddersfield Town in the UK is the first professional stadium to install a GrassMaster hybrid system. Thanks to the development of the Premier League in the UK following the Thatcher Act, English clubs start to invest in stadiums and infrastructure. Several clubs follow Huddersfield Town in ordering GrassMaster systems.

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1997-1998

Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road Stadium), West Ham United FC (Upton Park) and Aston Villa (Villa Park Stadium) install GrassMaster pitches. 

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2004

Euro 2004 in Portugal and the 2004 Olympics in Athens make use of the GrassMaster technology.

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2010

A crucial milestone for Desso, with GrassMaster installations at Wembley Stadium and two pitches in South Africa for the World Cup 2010. An international breakthrough for GrassMaster at top level.

Click here to watch a video about the GrassMaster installations in South Africa

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2011

GrassMaster is the first hybrid system to be used at the UEFA Champions League final at the Wembley Stadium in London.

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2012

Desso Sport Systems installs 3 GrassMaster pitches at the EURO 2012 in Ukraine.

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2014

June: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil kicks off on a GrassMaster pitch at the Sao Paulo stadium.

October: Tarkett Group and Desso Sport Systems make an acquisition agreement.

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2015

9 out of 13 hosts of the Rugby World Cup 2015 are equipped with GrassMaster, and 37 out of 48 games are played on the hybrid surface, including the opening ceremony and match. 

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January 2016

Stade de France is the 600th GrassMaster pitch installed.

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May 2016

The 2016 UEFA Champions League Final takes place on GrassMaster at the stadium of San Siro, Giuseppe Meazza.

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June - September 2016

PlayMaster is developed and tested in Calhoun, Georgia.

2017

July: The first ready-to-play PlayMaster installation takes place at the Girona FC training ground in Spain.

November: In just one year, twelve PlayMaster pitches have been installed.

December: Worldwide, GrassMaster Solutions installs pitches at a rate of 60 per year.

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2018

After the World Cup of 2010 in South-Africa and 2014 in Brazil, Tarkett Sports could again prove its long-standing expertise with hybrid grass pitches during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. A brand new GrassMaster pitch was installed at the Volgograd Arena, Kazan Arena and Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. In total, 16 World Cup games were played on Tarkett Sports' stitched hybrid grass system.

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