The New Tribune in Washington, reports that Seattle Sounders FC is in the process of replacing their playing surface with artificial grass. FIFA downgraded their stadium's artificial turf field to a one-star rating this season as it passed its two-year use. After the restoration test results, the soccer's worldwide governing will allow the Seattle Sounders to restore their field with artificial grass.
The soccer field had to be tested to see whether or not the surface can still be used for games. The field underwent a test that could restore its previous rating, which marks an area as appropriate for professional soccer and international competitions or confer the score that the field recommended mainly for recreational, community and multiple uses. The general manager of Seattle soccer team, commented that he was less concerned about FIFA's rating system on the artificial turf field than about the general playability and what coaches and players say about the field, and the aesthetics of the field for the fans. He feels that the rating should not affect the correct aspect of the field's condition. Player and coaches see how over the years the artificial grass was wearing out, and that this season the state of artificial turf was poor.
The FIFA results could matter more to Major League Soccer, which dictates that artificial stadium turf fields will maintain FIFA's recommended certification and sustain the field accordingly. The certificate was issued in other three synthetic fields in the league: the Monofilament surface at BC Place; the artificial grass surface at Providence Park; and the artificial grass at Gillette Stadium.
Seattle soccer team's desire to restore the field to artificial grass cannot be done individually because they share the field with Super Bowl football champions. And the ideal synthetic grass services for each team are different. Soccer teams favor artificial grass with the upright blades that cause the ball to roll more like on natural grass. For the football team's field with flattened blades from use are not considered a problem for NFL teams.
The general manager realizes that his soccer team is the second tenants of an NFL Stadium. Thus; he understands that both sides will work together to resolve the type of artificial grass should be installed. But being valuable tenants, who bring in 800,000 fans to the stadium, they are hoping that their voice will be considered in the final decision.
Regardless of the ultimate verdict, the time needed for the installation of a new field cannot begin until after the Football team's final home game, which could be in January. And that means that Seattle's soccer team will play on the existing turf this season. From commons sense perspective, soccer players would rather be playing on the grass every day. General manager assures that his players would not have complained to play on new artificial grass, for them playing on the nice turf field in a beautiful stadium in a Seattle city is what is take to win a lot of games on the field.