Seattle CEO Peter Tomozawa has announced that Lumen Field will have a grass surface for the 2026 World Cup. The stadium, which has been using an artificial surface since its opening in 2002, will use grass for six games, including a United States match, one round of 32, and one round of 16 game. The grass is currently being grown and the replacement activity won’t start until 2025.
The men’s World Cup has never used artificial surfaces for games while the Women’s World Cup used artificial fields during the 2015 event in Canada and received criticism from players. This final match was played on an artificial field at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. 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.
Tomozawa stated that advanced planning back when the stadium was constructed should help in the process of putting down the grass in 2026. He mentioned that the stadium already has plumbing and infrastructure built-in because it was constructed for the World Cup. This change is expected to bring a new experience to fans who are accustomed to watching games on an artificial surface.