AT&T Stadium soccer field draws criticism

Within the pregame protection of the Concacaf Nations League Ultimate, CBS Sports activities host Susannah Fuller referred to as the pitch “patchy” and “lower than ideally suited.”

ARLINGTON, Texas — As kickoff loomed within the 2024 Concacaf Nations League Ultimate at AT&T Stadium, the “lower than ideally suited” area situations was a sticking level as a part of pregame protection. 

CBS Sports activities host Susannah Collins, who was serving as a reporter for the Paramount+ protection, referred to as the sector “patchy” and “a extremely heavy floor,” a sentiment apparently shared by United States coach Gregg Berhalter. 

Collins stated she spoke with Berhalter at some point previous to her reporting of Sunday’s pregame protection, asking him what he considered the pitch. 

“[Berhalter] sort of smiled at me and stated ‘you have been down there … what did you assume?’ clearly alluding to his displeasure with the standard of the pitch,” Collins stated. “However [Berhalter] stated look it was dangerous. It took its toll on the blokes. You noticed them cramping up, however on the finish of the day it is simply one thing they must play for.”

Collins went on to say, in keeping with CBS Sports activities reporter Nico Cantor, Concacaf has employed a “high-level area upkeep firm” forward of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the place they’re bringing in grass from a farm within the Dallas space.

Watch Gregg Berhalter’s full post-match press convention:

Collins stated the corporate will reportedly use particular equipment to optimize the grass. This comes amongst an ongoing debate concerning the taking part in floor getting used on the FIFA World Cup venues, that are largely NFL stadiums that make the most of area turf, together with AT&T Stadium.

In contrast to the 2024 Concacaf Nations League Ultimate, AT&T Stadium will reportedly elevate its taking part in floor to satisfy the sector dimension necessities for World Cup matches.

So as to adjust to FIFA’s area laws for the World Cup, the taking part in floor at AT&T Stadium shall be raised 15 toes from the place it at present stands. Doing so will accommodate the broader dimensions required by FIFA.

Here is a have a look at how excessive the sector shall be raised, in comparison with its present state, that was placed on show in 2022:

We have lined this a number of instances during the last couple years, when it grew to become obvious AT&T Stadium could be among the many World Cup host websites, but it surely’s value re-upping after Sunday’s schedule announcement.

Whereas AT&T Stadium has hosted quite a few soccer matches over time, FIFA clearly may have extra stringent laws for the World Cup in relation to the taking part in area dimensions.

These laws name for area dimensions of about 105 meters lengthy and 68 meters throughout. The 68 meters throughout equates to about 75 yards; by comparability, a soccer area is 50 yards throughout. There’s clearly house on all sides of the sector for sidelines, however AT&T Stadium, with seats and suites near the sector, would not have a lot wasted house.

The raised, wider area may even minimize into among the decrease bowl seating on the stadium. However with greater than 90,000 seats within the constructing, there ought to be loads to go round.

The elevating of the sector and re-orienting of the seats shall be a part of $295 million in renovations that started at AT&T Stadium in January. The updates will embody freshening up its premium golf equipment and suites, and putting in new millwork and finishes, in keeping with the Sports activities Enterprise Journal. Whereas the SBJ stated the renovations have been anticipated to begin in January, the upgrades aren’t anticipated to be accomplished till July 2025.

AT&T Stadium in Arlington will host a semi-final match, a spherical of 16 match, two spherical of 32 matches, and 5 group stage matches, bringing its whole to 9 matches — essentially the most of any website within the event.