I have been looking at ancient stadiums (actually, I prefer to pluralize it as stadia) recently, but today I looked at a REEEELY big REEL one. Toasty day, bright sun. And the playing surface was hot, hot, hot, did I say: HOT!
I think part of the reason they use the fake turf is that keeping the grass alive in the exaggerated heat of this focal-bowl must be nearly impossible. A few rows of what looked like sycamores in the sea of asphalt that surround the stadium (general parking: $50, no lie) had assorted leafless limbs and generally looked on the brink of their demise.
The closeup is from a few extra chunks of lifeless sod stacked on a pallet on the edge of the parking lot; some pieces even had white “stripes.”