In preparation for the 2026 World Cup, Lumen Field in Seattle is undergoing a major transformation. The stadium’s CEO, Peter Tomozawa, announced that the field will be replaced with natural grass for the event. The new surface will be used for six games at the stadium, including a United States match, one round of 32, and one round of 16 game.
Although the replacement activity won’t begin until 2025, the grass will be laid down in early spring of 2026. This change is significant as Lumen Field has used an artificial surface since its opening in 2002 as the home for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, Seattle Sounders of the MLS, and Seattle Reign of the NWSL.
The decision to switch to natural grass follows criticism from players during past events where artificial surfaces were used. The Women’s World Cup used artificial fields during the 2015 event in Canada and received criticism from players. However, this final match was played on an artificial field at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
Several other stadiums hosting the event will also have to come up with grass solutions, including AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, NRG Stadium in Houston and SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Tomozawa stated that advanced planning back when the stadium was constructed should help in putting down a new surface for this event.
The stadium already has plumbing and infrastructure built-in because it was constructed for