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In preparation for the 2026 World Cup, Lumen Field in Seattle is set to switch from an artificial surface to grass. The stadium’s CEO, Peter Tomozawa, has stated that the grass will be laid down in early spring of 2026 as part of the event’s preparations. While the field replacement activity won’t begin until 2025, this change will bring in four group games, including a United States match and one round of 32 and 16 games.

Several other stadiums, including AT&T Stadium, Mercedes Benz Stadium, MetLife Stadium, Gillette Stadium, NRG Stadium, and SoFi Stadium, will also have to come up with grass solutions for the 2026 event. This decision marks a departure from past events where artificial surfaces were used. The Women’s World Cup received criticism from players when it was held on artificial fields during the 2015 event in Canada at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. However, the men’s World Cup has never used artificial surfaces for games.

Tomozawa believes that advanced planning back when the stadium was constructed will help in putting down the grass in 2026. He mentioned that Lumen Field already has plumbing and infrastructure built-in because it was constructed for the World Cup. The new grass surface will provide players with a more natural playing experience and enhance spectator comfort during matches at Lumen Field.

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