Giants, Jets' MetLife Stadium to Replace Turf with New Artificial Grass in 2023

Erin WalshNovember 18, 2022

A general overall interior view of MetLife Stadium as the New York Giants take on the Carolina Panthers during the first half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

MetLife Stadium will replace its current turf with new artificial grass in 2023, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

The stadium, which is home to both the New York Giants and New York Jets, is weighing options for a new synthetic surface despite calls from players to replace the turf with natural grass.

"We evaluate our field each season and historically have replaced our playing surface every 3-4 years. We have made the decision to replace the field in 2023 and are currently reviewing proposals from multiple vendors for a new synthetic surface," MetLife Stadium said in a statement to ESPN.

Giants safety Julian Love told Bob Brookover of NJ.com that the preference of most NFL players is a natural grass field:

“Part of the challenge is the two teams and all of the events that [happen] on that field, and so we would love grass, but if that’s not feasible, then the new state-of-the-art turf that is available will have to go down instead. The Giants are on the ball on that type of thing, and I think there is now a push to make everybody the same way.”

However, a number of NFL teams still play on artificial turf, including the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and L.A. Chargers.

In response to MetLife Stadium's announcement, the NFLPA said in a statement to ESPN:

"The players have been vocal and clear about this issue and it is a good step to hear them that change needs to be made. The change will not come soon enough, though, for players who will be at greater risk the rest of the season. We expect that whatever surface gets installed next year will meet the highest safety and performance standards possible."

The field at MetLife Stadium has been heavily criticized by players and teams since its installation in 2020.

In September 2020, the San Francisco 49ers had to play back-to-back games at MetLife Stadium against the Giants and Jets. They lost Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas to torn ACLs and Jimmy Garoppolo also suffered a high-ankle sprain.

This season, the Giants lost wide receiver Sterling Shepard to a torn ACL. Meanwhile, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh also criticized the turf after cornerback Kyle Fuller tore his ACL in a season-opening win against the Jets.

However, it's important to note "the NFL's recent rate of non-contact injuries to the knee, ankle and foot is roughly the same on natural and artificial playing surfaces, according to internal data reviewed by ESPN."

Still, with complaints about the MetLife Stadium field piling up, it's clear a change is necessary.