Finally, an announcement.
For months this has been expected, but now it’s official. The Seahawks and Sounders FC announced Tuesday that a new artificial FieldTurf surface will be installed at CenturyLink Field in early February.
The two teams will be joined by the University of Washington football team as hosts of the venue in 2012 (not to mention concerts and other events), so a new field was in desperate need. The current version of the turf was installed in 2008.
Artificial turf has long been a controversial issue for fans, players, coaches and other soccer traditionalists. Opponents often criticize the surface and it’s certainly one factor in not getting more big games in Seattle — e.g. U.S. men’s national team.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid has said multiple times that his team plays better on grass while on the road, but installing a natural surface at home raising logistical issues, especially with three teams set to play on it in the fall.
In a radio interview earlier this year, Seahawks/Sounders president Peter McLoughlin said grass installment would take eight months and that it would be a long and expensive process.
What do you think of the news?