Another Alternative to artificial fields is completely re-doing the natural grass fields. I do not just mean re-turfing or flattening out the surface. I mean going down 1 or 2 metes ensuring the ground is level. Raising the fields so that they drain properly. Creating the best soil structure and compositions so that the ground does not degrade unevenly if at all. The right type of grass so that it lasts longer is more durable and potentially does not even need to be mowed. A complete and utter re-construction.
Not that I am 100% sure on this but I believe St George council in Sydney’s south did this very thing. From what I understand it has a similar cost to that of the artificial fields. But they got it right from what I have been told. The fields are natural grass and withstand the punishment subjected to them over the winter months. They did the exact thing I described above by completely redoing the grounds from the soil structure to the type of grass.
As an alternative though this is expensive, not just to do initially but it also provides minimal on going cost savings. The grass will still need to be mowed, water and sprayed at some points throughout the year. Personally, I also doubt that the goal mouths and center circles of the fields would hold up for the entire season and I would assume that after a season they would also need to be relayed.
So, although this is an alternative it is not one that would provide any savings or benefits to players beyond the fields being flat and potentially better quality. Although I believe that it would only be a matter of time until the ground would degrade yet again and then you go back into the cycle that currently occurs.