Synthetic grass to be installed at Giants Stadium

February 24, 2003

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The 2 1/2 -year-old grass field at Giants Stadium will be replaced this spring by an artificial surface being used with success on football fields in Detroit and Seattle.

The new FieldTurf surface will be in place when the Major League Soccer season starts this spring and will continue to be used when the New York Giants and Jets start playing at the stadium in August.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the stadium, said the new surface will cost $650,000 to purchase and install. The authority spent more than $1 million last season to repair and replace a natural grass surface that was installed to replace the artificial turf that had been in use since the stadium opened in 1976.

The new surface gets better reviews from NFL players than the grass that was subjected to abuse from two teams and harsh northern weather.

Players say the surface doesn't cause turf burns, provides cushioning for falls, and does not grab the foot, easing pressure on the knee.

The artificial surface will allow the stadium to again host high school football and soccer championships, as well as marching band competitions, the authority said.

The NFL Players Association ranked the Seattle surface the third-best in the league. Giants Stadium's grass was ranked second-worst in the league, ahead only of the artificial surface at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium.