The World Cup’s insistence on grass becomes the main theme of the grass debate
The players want grass in all venues. Various NFL stadiums use artificial turf. So far, the debate has not gained much traction.
As the 2026 World Cup to be held in the USA draws near and more and more people realize that stadiums like AT&T in Dallas and SoFi in LA are being converted to grass pitches for the soccer competition, more and more people will be wondering why if they are possible for football is possible. Isn’t that for football?
When push comes to shove, sources linked to The Shield will indicate (which is already the case) that the World Cup surfaces will be a mix of grass and artificial turf.
Well, why don’t the stadiums that currently use turf permanently use the turf/synthetic hybrid required by FIFA for football as well?
Players who only want grass would certainly settle for a mix of grass and artificial turf instead of just artificial turf. Why not just keep the World Cup interface in AT&T Stadium and SoFi Stadium?
The broader point is that while owners like Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke don’t switch flooring because soccer players prefer grass, they bend back when the World Cup’s governing body calls for grass, or at least a grass/turf hybrid.
The most recent contribution to the HBO series Real Sports, starring Bryant Gumbel, sums it up. Grass is far safer than lawn. Soccer players want to play on grass. Why the heck don’t NFL owners provide them with grass or at least a grass/grass hybrid?
As a source within the NFL bubble who believes in grass courts recently told PFT, the NFL will skew and twist statistics to preserve the status quo. The league does not want to burden owners with the cost of installing and maintaining turf – particularly at venues where a significant building redesign would be required to accommodate it.
And so, the NFL will continue to ignore the noise and force players to confront the dangers of artificial turf, even as evidence mounts that the game is relatively safe to play, both in terms of injury and general wear and tear a softer, more forgiving surface.
Simply put, it’s a problem the NFL can’t solve because the NFL refuses to acknowledge that there’s a problem at all. The willingness of some owners to swap out all-grass pitches for the World Cup will hopefully lead to so many people recognizing the problem that the league will have no choice but to finally admit there is a problem.