The world learned this week that the 2026 FIFA World Cup final will be played at MetLife Stadium and that grass will be installed to meet the requirements of a FIFA venue.
MetLife Stadium switched from UBU Speed S5-M to FieldTurf Core HD before the 2023 NFL season as a result of the rash of injuries incurred by players on the old surface over the 14 years since it opened in 2010.
Now they will have to switch to a natural surface, an idea that has been bandied about between the owners of the Giants and Jets for quite some time now.
Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters covering the Super Bowl in Las Vegas this week that he and Giants owner John Mara discuss installing a grass field “at least once a week,” per NJ Advance Media.
Johnson added that grass could be a challenge, because the stadium hosts so many events — and because two NFL teams share the open-air venue until at least late December or early January, when the regular season ends. And everyone knows what New Jersey’s weather can be like then.
Grass is not optimal at MetLife, one of the most popular venues in North America because of both logistics and the expense.
As stated, the Northern New Jersey weather would literally put a damper on the effort, which is one of the reasons the teams opted for an artificial surface to begin with.
With two NFL teams playing on the surface — possibly on back-to-back days — and all of the other events that take place at the venue (soccer, college football, concerts, monster trucks, wrestling, etc.) it would be a severe challenge to care for a grass surface year-round.
A grass surface at MetLife full-time might end up being more unsafe than the current one they have in place.