Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Major League Sucker - MLS Fields - Turf vs. Grass Pitches

A lot of words get typed every time a soccer match in the U.S. is played on a non-traditional, imperfect artificial turf or grass surface. 

People love to bring up the Seattle Sounders' turf at CenturyLink Field as well. Every single time. 

Players considered protesting the Women's World Cup because of artificial turf fields in Canada, which for the sake of this argument we're grouping all of North America together.

The new Atlanta Stadium, in which MLS Atlanta will play, is being shared with the Atlanta Falcons and out of necessity will be artificial turf. Owner Arthur Blank has promised that the turf will be "the finest synthetic turf we can accommodate." 

In the run-up to 2017, I figured it'd be good to take a census on league stadiums and their playing surfaces. These are all pulled directly from Wikipedia as I wasn't putting too much work into it. 

The breakdown of MLS playing fields: 15 grass fields: 5 artificial pitches

Eastern Conference: 8 grass: 2 synthetic 
Western Conference: 7 grass: 3 synthetic

TBD: Minnesota, LAFC
Note: OCSC will change to grass with new stadium

Eastern Conference 

Chicago Fire - Toyota Park - Natural Grass
Columbus Crew SC - Mapfre Stadium - Kentucky Bluegrass
D.C. United - RFK Stadium - Grass (Prescription Athletic Turf)
Montreal Impact - Saputo Stadium - Grass (Olympic Stadium - Xtreme Turf by Act Global)
New England Revolution  - Gillette Stadium - FieldTurf
New York City FC - Yankee Stadium - Kentucky Bluegrass
New York Red Bulls - Red Bull Arena - Grass
Orlando City SC - Citrus Bowl - AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D (Orlando City Stadium - Grass)
Philadelphia Union - PPL Park - Grass
Toronto FC - BMO Field - Grass

Western Conference 
Colorado Rapids - Dick's Sporting Goods Park - Kentucky Bluegrass
FC Dallas - Toyota Stadium - Bermuda Grass
Houston Dynamo - BBVA Compass Stadium - Bermuda Grass
Los Angeles Galaxy - StubHub Center - Grass
Portland Timbers - Providence Park - FieldTurf
Real Salt Lake - Rio Tinto Stadium - Kentucky Blue Grass
San Jose Earthquakes - Avaya Stadium - Grass
Seattle Sounders FC - CenturyLink Field - FieldTurf
Sporting Kansas City - Sporting Park - Grass
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - BC Stadium - Polytan LigaTurf 240 RS+