New Seattle Sounders Stadium extension means poor playing surface

March 18, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Posted in General Football, Whitecaps season 2015 | 1 Comment
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The Seattle Sounders recently made a deal to continue playing in the massive CenturyLink Field in downtown Seattle for the next ten years. The deal has a lot going for it and fits within the now preferred downtown stadium model that Major League Soccer has wisely adopted.

With a competitive team, a spectacular stadium and some of the biggest crowds in world soccer, what could there be to complain about? Artificial turf, that is what. Artificial turf, also called Polytan or Fieldturf depending on the manufacturer, blights the game of soccer in the Pacific Northwest.

Pacific Northwest soccer is booming like never before with Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver thriving in Major League Soccer. Fans are filling the stadia, but get let down by the awful playing surfaces.

BC Place in Vancouver, which will host the final of the Women’s World Cup this year, has a playing surface so bad that top Women players started a law suit so they would not have to play on it along with other stadia with similar playing pitches. Like all top players they prefer to play Soccer on grass. This is because the game is so much better on grass, and because of the toll artificial pitches take on player’s bodies.

The Vancouver Whitecaps have been playing on artificial pitches for four years and fans here routinely miss seeing star players because they refuse to play on the stuff. We never once got to see Thierry Henry, and other stars who had niggling injuries preferred to not play because of the risk of aggravating those injuries.

All of the Pacific Northwest teams attempt to appease their fans by promising better artificial surfaces. This is window-dressing. What they are doing is promising to make something awful a little bit less awful.

While Pacific Northwest soccer fans are top class, the teams they support and the soccer they watch will continue to be substandard because of artificial pitches. We fans of Pacific Northwest soccer deserve better; we deserve to watch our teams play the beautiful game on grass.


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  1. Couldn’t agree more. It pains me to see junior soccer being played on artificial turf. One notices such things as the poor first touch and the difficulty controlling a bouncing ball. The main problem is that in Seattle and Vancouver the football teams have to play on the same field and in our climate if the field were grass it would be destroyed in no time. We need separate soccer stadia!


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