Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.

Michigan State and University of Tennessee to research and develop turfgrass for 2026 World Cup

February 16, 2023

Michigan State University’s (MSU) board approved a partnership with the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), in which the association will fund research and development of natural grass playing surfaces for the 2026 North American World Cup.

Many of the cup’s games will be played in covered, artificial turf, NFL stadiums. To meet FIFA’s mandate of natural grass playing surfaces, researchers will need to design turfgrass systems that can be temporarily placed inside the stadiums and remain playable for up to 60 days.

Turfgrass research professor John Trey Rogers will lead the effort at MSU. His team will work alongside researchers at the University of Tennessee, led by a former Ph.D. candidate of Rogers.

“We’ve been working on this for about a year and a half, and if you let it get to you, it can be a little bit difficult to sleep,” Rogers said. “However, the one thing that we do have on our side is experience and success. We put the field in a Spartan Stadium, we did the project for the ‘94 World Cup, and we’ve done a couple of the Olympics where we’ve built fields, so we know the formula. But, we haven’t done anything quite this large.”

To test the designs, FIFA will fund the construction and maintenance of indoor testing facilities at MSU and in Tennessee. Construction on the East Lansing, Mich., facility will begin in April. Rogers said having these indoor facilities will allow them to test various lighting and chemical treatments year-round.

“I would liken this to a dark shower,” Rogers said. “If you don’t keep it clean, think about all the mold and fungi that come in because there’s no light there, a dark wet place. That’s what happens in any kind of indoor situation.”

Four MSU students will assist Rogers, Ph.D. Candidates Ryan Bearss and Jackie Guevara, M.S. student Jake Kilby and research assistant Evan Rogers.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Football/Soccer, Industry, News

1 Comment on "Michigan State and University of Tennessee to research and develop turfgrass for 2026 World Cup"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Greg harris says:

    I am interested inthe specific of the turf type and its availability in Northern California. I design areas of high use and would like to use this turf since I assume it will hold up and if planted outside would thrive in natural climates. Please send only information associated with this information.