Lumen Field in Seattle to install grass for World Cup in early 2026

Feb 5, 2024, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:27 pm

Seattle World Cup Sounders Lumen Field...

A general view of Lumen Field is seen during a 2022 Seattle Sounders game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — The process of eventually putting down a grass surface at Lumen Field for the 2026 World Cup is already underway, the head of the Seattle local organizing committee said Monday.

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Seattle CEO Peter Tomozawa said the grass that will be used for six games at the stadium during the World Cup is already being grown. Seattle will have four group games — including one United States match — along with one round of 32 and one round of 16 game.

Lumen Field has used an artificial surface since it opened in 2002, including a new one currently being installed, as the home for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, Seattle Sounders of the MLS and Seattle Reign of the NWSL.

“The field replacement activity will actually start in earnest in 2025. We’ll probably have grass laid down sometime in the early spring of 2026,” Tomozawa said. “It will be field ready and tested. It will be to (U.S. coach) Gregg’s (Berhalter) liking. We’ll be ready.”

The men’s World Cup has never used an artificial surface for games, while the Women’s World Cup used artificial fields during the 2015 event in Canada and was criticized by players. The final in 2015 was played on an artificial field at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

BC Place is one of several stadiums that will have to come up with grass solutions for the 2026 event. AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas), Mercedes Benz Stadium (Atlanta), MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey), Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts), NRG Stadium (Houston) and SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, California) will also need to come up with grass solutions for their stadiums.

Tomozawa said advanced planning back when the stadium was constructed should help in the process of putting down the grass in 2026.

“Thankfully the stadium has already got some infrastructure built in it because it was built for the World Cup,” Tomozawa said. “So we have some plumbing and infrastructure underneath the current carpet.”

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