MetLife Stadium awarded 2026 FIFA World Cup final, but game won’t be played on artificial turf
FIFA insists on natural grass for all games
February 5, 2024 By Turf & Rec
New York’s MetLife Stadium, which has come under criticism the past year for the number of injuries occurring to NFL players, has been selected at the venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup final.
The announcement brings into question MetLife’s playing surface, which is currently artificial turf. The synthetic surface has been widely attributed to the rash of football player injuries, according to the NFL players’ association.
FIFA, however, mandates that all World Cup matches be played on natural grass. There have been several instances in recent years in which stadiums with artificial turf have attempted to install temporary natural grass surfaces to accommodate high-end soccer games, but the results have been questionable.
Although the 2026 World Cup final will be played on natural grass, it is yet to be determined if the stadium will install a temporary natural pitch or if it will opt for a significantly more expensive “wheeled in” permanent grass surface solution.
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