UPDATE (June 27): The Sounders formally announced the installation of a new playing surface on Thursday. The new turf appears to be the exact same product as the previous turf, Revolution 360 which comes with a score of 83 on the Fiber Performance Index. The New England Revolution, Portland Timbers and Atlanta United all play on FieldTurf surfaces. When Gillette Stadium and Mercedes-Benz Field were replaced in 2017 and 2019, respectively, they upgraded to the newer CORE system that is purported to have better performance. FC Cincinnati and the Vancouver Whitecaps also play on artificial turf, but use different products entirely.
When the Seattle Sounders finally return to CenturyLink Field after nearly six weeks away, they’ll be playing on newly installed FieldTurf, Sounder at Heart has confirmed. Reports first surfaced last week when photos of a seemingly empty playing field showed up on Reddit. Details on the type of turf were not yet known, but a formal announcement is expected as soon as this week.
The new turf comes about half a season ahead of schedule. When the Sounders signed their current lease with CenturyLink Field in 2015 — a lease which goes through 2028 — one of the clauses was that new turf would be installed every four years. At the time, Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer had expressed optimism that they and the Seahawks might be able to work out a deal that would facilitate replacement more often. With the Seahawks and First and Goal under new, more soccer-friendly management, that appears to be what happened.
This will be at least the third time that the turf has been replaced since the Sounders joined MLS in 2009. It was previously replaced in 2012 and 2016, and was due to be replaced again before the 2020 season. While the two previous replacements were done amidst significant complaints, there have not been nearly as many public-facing issues with the quality of the surface this time.