Shifting to all-grass fields for its 14 stadiums with artificial surfaces stands to be a costly move for the NFL, but it could be a smart, long-term investment.
Across the league, players have voiced their concerns about playing on artificial surfaces, which they claim has led to injuries, including brain injuries leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
In 2013, the NFL agreed to a $1 billion settlement with former players over concussions. In July, the league distributed its last payments toward the settlement after pocketing $18 billion in 2021. All-grass fields could help alleviate any future grievances over injuries on artificial turf.
- Converting those surfaces to grass fields would reportedly cost the league $11.9 million.
- $500,000 would go toward demolition, new rock underlayment, and irrigation systems.
- Another $350,000 would be allocated toward lay-and-play sod.
“The NFL needs to make it a mandatory rule that every team should have grass instead of turf,” tweeted Las Vegas Raiders right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor earlier this year.
New Stadiums, Different Surfaces
The NFL and its teams have had tough decisions to make as new stadiums come to fruition.
The Tennessee Titans have planned a new domed stadium in Nashville that is projected to cost $2.1 billion, while the Buffalo Bills will open a new 62,000-seat, open-air stadium in 2026.