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FieldTurf will be back in Seattle
by Ridge Mahoney, November 23rd, 2011 2AM

TAGS:  seattle sounders


[MLS 2012] Fans and players had hoped otherwise, but rather than install a grass surface at CenturyLink Field, the Sounders and NFL Seahawks have again opted for FieldTurf.

The teams announced Tuesday that the latest version of FieldTurf will be installed next February. It replaces a surface laid in 2008 that had deteriorated considerably in the past two seasons.

"The new field will offer the field maintenance crew an outstanding and extremely durable product to meet the requirements of each event," said Sounders and Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin in a press release.

In addition to  NFL and MLS games, CenturyLink Field will also host University of Washington football games for another season while Husky Stadium is being renovated.

Heavy field usage is one reason grass will not be installed. Next weekend, for example, there will be college and pro games on back-to-back days, followed by another NFL game the following Thursday.

In addition to at least 20 soccer games and more than a dozen football games played there annually, CenturyLink Field is also used for concerts and other events.

"We are looking forward to the installation of our new field for 2012 and beyond," said Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer. "FieldTurf has been a great partner for us and they are rightly recognized as the global leader, having the highest amount of FIFA certified pitches in soccer stadiums and training facilities around the world."

This decision keeps the number of MLS teams playing on artificial surfaces at four: New England, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.

Saputo Stadium, where the Montreal Impact will play in MLS starting next year, has a grass surface, as will the new facility for the Houston Dynamo scheduled to open next spring.

  1. Ryan Zimmer
    commented on: November 23, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
    Bleh. I wish they went with grass from the get go as we were promised when we voted to pay for the stadium.
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: November 23, 2011 at 7:06 p.m.
    The problem was not the turf, but the quality of the turf. I hope they buy an improved version, the current field is abysmal. On the other hand, grass would be better.
  1. Bill Morrison
    commented on: November 24, 2011 at 12:42 p.m.
    That's why I don't watch MLS games played on this stuff. My local team the Revs are abysmal anyway, but a game played on an artificial surface is almost unwatchable.
  1. Ivan Ivanov
    commented on: November 24, 2011 at 4:51 p.m.
    Absolutely awful news! Every time football is played on artificial turf, a little kitten dies! NO to artificial turf and the Adidas Jabulani abomination. Those two have made MLS unwatchable!
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: November 25, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
    Ivan, you are correct on the Jabulani ball, it is horrendous. Just an updated version of the plastic whack-a-ball from the 1970's. Adidas makes plenty of soccer balls that are playable, they should just choose a better (hand-stitched) model for the MLS. The ball ruins the MLS FAR MORE than the turf.

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