Dear Major League Soccer: no more Fieldturf teams, please!

April 9, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Posted in General Football, Major League Soccer, Whitecaps season 2014 | 8 Comments
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MLS is currently courting Atlanta, and media sources are saying the deal is as good as done. The proposal is for the proposed Atlanta MLS club to share a new stadium with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. This means another MLS club will play second fiddle to an NFL team in a stadium with Fieldturf, the playing surface of choice for NFL clubs.

Currently only four clubs in MLS play on Fieldturf: New England, Seattle, Portland and our own Vancouver Whitecaps. The mission for MLS should be to get these teams working on a long term plan to play on grass.

Fieldturf is especially bad for soccer in hot climates, as Toronto FC players found out before it was replaced with grass at BMO Field. Fieldturf is only playable when it is wet, and it quickly dries out in the hot sun. This makes for bad football. Gridiron football takes a heavy toll on Fieldturf, as does the painting and repainting of the lines.

Fieldturf also drives top players away from the league. Even top players who are in the league, such as Thierry Henry, refuse to play on the stuff.

Sadly, it appears the Atlanta franchise is all but granted. Don Garber should be insisting on soccer specific stadia with natural grass pitches. Anything less is simply not good enough.



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  1. “Even top players who are in the league, such as Thierry Henry, refuse to play on the stuff.”

    Suits us Revs fans fine when Henry won’t play against us. When that happens they don’t have him and we get to chant:

    “He’s old! He’s French! He’s sitt-ing on the bench!”

    • Good for you, kraft.
      Unfortunately it also means that no high caliber player will ever join the Revs.
      Or have you not noticed?

      • Correction, no high priced player. We have plenty of high caliber players.

    • Surely the best result is to have Henri play and still beat the Red Bulls!

  2. Agree with you entirely. I was very disappointed when the proposed Whitecaps’ waterfront soccer specific stadium with a grass pitch fell through some years ago. It would be a dream come true to see the ‘Caps playing home matches on a grass pitch. My philosophy was formed by the greatest football mind of the Twentieth Century who said “If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he’d have put grass up there.” Grass, not fieldturf.

  3. Just a minor note: I suppose that you mean “artificial turf” (AT), and not “FieldTurf” per se.

    FieldTurf is an AT producer, and produces a number of products bearing the FieldTurf name.

    The synthetic turf installed in BC Place (Ligaturf 240 RS+) is produced by a German company, Polytan.

    • Polytan Schmolyan! Call it what you will, it is not for professional football!

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