Let me start by clearing this up for folks, because I have heard from a few people: As I reported during last Thursday’s game, Sounders FC-Dynamo Game 2 will be seen locally on KING TV (Ch. 5) with the pregame beginning at 11:30. If you still don’t believe me, look at this.
Now, as far as the topic of this post, I received an e-mail from the league with this information.
– MLS worked very closely with the Qwest Field and Sounders FC staff to analyze all of the options to bring in temporary natural grass for MLS Cup at Qwest Field.
– One of the top priorities for this year’s championship match is to provide the safest and best playing surface possible for both teams, and after extensive research (MLS) collectively believes it will be artificial surface.
– Qwest Field has relationships with three local sod suppliers (in Eastern Washington, Oregon and Idaho) who have met very high expectations in the past and proven they can deliver the quality and amount of sod that is required in a timely manner. Each local sod supplier said that in Seattle’s northern climate their fields will go dormant in October and they can’t guarantee the sod will stay viable during the transfer. Thus, the quality of the sod for MLS Cup would likely be in poor condition.
– California sod was considered due to the warmer climate, but Qwest Field used California sod for a game several years ago and it was the most disappointing temporary grass field to date. The time it took to transport was a major factor and most of the grass was starting to die when it arrived. Sod grown in the warmer climate is also a different type of grass that does not fare well in Washington.
The amount of rainfall typical for this month was also a concern. There wouldn’t have been good drainage under the temporary sod, and even if the field were covered, heavy rain on match day would have made the field a mess and be unsafe for players.