The 2026 World Cup will bring a new change to Lumen Field in Seattle, as stated by CEO Peter Tomozawa. In preparation for the event, the stadium is set to lay down a grass surface instead of the artificial one that has been used since its opening in 2002. The grass will be grown and ready for use in early spring of 2026.
The decision to switch to grass comes after criticism from players who played on artificial surfaces during the Women’s World Cup in 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. Several other stadiums, including AT&T Stadium, Mercedes Benz Stadium, MetLife Stadium, Gillette Stadium, NRG Stadium, and SoFi Stadium, will also have to come up with grass solutions for the 2026 event.
Tomozawa stated that advanced planning back when the stadium was constructed should help in the process of putting down the grass in 2026. He mentioned that the stadium already has plumbing and infrastructure built-in because it was constructed for the World Cup. This means that Lumen Field is well-equipped to handle the demands of hosting six games during the tournament, including a United States match, one round of 32, and one round of 16 game.