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Qwest Field Grass Study Commissioned By Sounders, Seahawks

The current Field Turf surface at Qwest Field hasn't been holding up well and the Seattle Sounders and Seattle Seahawks are ready to make a change. What change could be involved is unknown, but the two sides, along with First and Goal, operator of Qwest Field, have commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of a grass surface at the Seattle stadium. The grass vs. artificial turf debate has raged on since the Sounders joined Major League Soccer and began playing at Qwest Field, but the prevailing sentiment has been a natural surface would have difficulty maintaining its playability in a shared complex between football teams and soccer teams while dealing with the Seattle weather.

Seattle Times beat reporter Joshua Mayers talked to plenty of Sounders players and general manager Adrian Hanauer about the turf, and it appears a change is on the horizon.

"I would be surprised if we're playing on the same turf next year," said Hanauer, who claimed "timing and logistics" prevented a new installation before this season.

According to MLS director of communications Will Kuhns, Qwest Field currently "does meet current MLS standards for match play" and the league is "satisfied" with how the turf plays.

It may just be another incarnation of Field Turf, but it's clear the current surface is nearing the end of its life-span. With a change nearing, the grass vs. artificial debate will surely ramp up in the coming months as the Seahawks and Sounders weight the options for Qwest Field.

For more on the study, be sure to visit Sounder At Heart, SB Nation's Sounders blog, and Field Gulls, SB Nation's Seahawks blog.