There won't be grass, but CenturyLink Field will have a new turf for the 2012 Seattle Sounders season. The latest generation of FieldTurf will be laid down in February, shortly after the end of the Seahawks season and just in time for the Sounders to get used to it prior to their game against Santos Laguna on March 7.
Many fans have long pined for real grass, but the Sounders have only given us the faintest hope that it was a real possibility. With the University of Washington football team also using CenturyLink in 2012, a grass surface would have been nearly impossible to keep up even if the team had figured out a way to make growing it and maintaining it feasible.
At the very least, this FieldTurf should be an upgrade over the stuff they are playing on now. Players and coaches had grown to universally despise the surface at CenturyLink Field, which had degraded considerably since the inaugural season of 2009 when it was just a year old.
This is how the new turf was described in a release sent out by the Sounders: "The FieldTurf Revolution system is built with the Revolution fiber and is the result of innovative science, engineering and technology that will provide a playing surface that features a soft and strong monofilament fiber. A proprietary fiber polymer formulation resists splitting and degradation and includes an industry leading ultraviolet inhibitor technology. A state-of-the-art extrusion process provides intricate concave and ridged construction to eliminate breaking points in each fiber blade.
"Specially sized cryogenic rubber particles and washed silica sand granules are layered, in a patented installation process, surrounding the Revolution fibers. This provides player safety and outstanding durability and longevity. The FieldTurf system is the only turf product in the world with independent long-term and real-life safety data backing up its claims."