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NFL installs hybrid field for two games in Germany this month

November 6, 2023
Photo: Pgiam/E+/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The NFL will install a hybrid field for its two games in Frankfurt this month, a year after players complained about slipping on the natural grass in Munich.

The crew installed the hybrid surface at Deutsche Bank Park prior to the Nov. 5 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins. The New England Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts at the same stadium this week.

After the NFL’s first-ever regular-season game in Germany, players and coaches from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks complained about the surface at Allianz Arena, the home of Bundesliga soccer champions Bayern Munich. The game caused enough damage that the grass had to be replaced afterward.

Hybrid surfaces are widely used across Europe in soccer stadiums. Systems vary but the fields are generally 90% or more of natural grass with synthetic fibers woven into them as reinforcement. Liverpool’s pitch installed at Anfield in 2022 is 95 percent natural grass.

The hot topic resurfaced following an injury to New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The NFL said it collaborates with the host stadium “to ensure that the game field is in the best possible condition and is in compliance with the NFL mandatory practices,” according to an article from AP News.

Frankfurt had been replacing its natural grass field each season because of wear and tear, but now hopes the hybrid pitch will last beyond next summer’s European Championship.

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