The National Football League (NFL) is known for its intense and thrilling games played on various types of playing surfaces.
While many teams have transitioned to artificial turf in recent years, there are still several NFL teams that prefer the natural feel and benefits of playing on grass fields.
Here we look at the NFL teams that have chosen to maintain grass fields, the reasons behind their decisions, and the advantages and disadvantages of playing on natural grass.
Summary – What NFL Teams Have Grass Fields?
Here’s a summary of the relevant details:
- NFL teams have the freedom to choose the type of grass for their stadiums as there are no restrictions imposed by the league.
- Currently, 16 franchises use natural grass while 16 have opted for artificial turf.
The following NFL teams played their home games on natural grass fields:
- Arizona Cardinals (State Farm Stadium)
- Carolina Panthers (Bank of America Stadium)
- Chicago Bears (Soldier Field)
- Cleveland Browns (FirstEnergy Stadium)
- Denver Broncos (Empower Field at Mile High)
- Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field)
- Kansas City Chiefs (Arrowhead Stadium)
- Los Angeles Chargers (SoFi Stadium) – Shared with the Los Angeles Rams
- Los Angeles Rams (SoFi Stadium) – Shared with the Los Angeles Chargers
- Miami Dolphins (Hard Rock Stadium)
- Oakland Raiders (before they moved to Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium, which has artificial turf)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (Heinz Field)
- San Francisco 49ers (Levi’s Stadium)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Raymond James Stadium)
- Tennessee Titans (Nissan Stadium)
- Washington Football Team (FedExField)
However, it’s worth noting that field surfaces can change over time due to various reasons such as stadium renovations, team preferences, or other logistical reasons.
The majority of the stadiums in the league use Bermuda grass, which can tolerate extreme heat and heavy use.
Examples of teams using this type of natural field include:
- Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium
- Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium
The Arizona Cardinals and Las Vegas Raiders also use Bermuda grass, even in their indoor stadiums.
Under cold weather conditions, some stadiums use a cool-season lawn grass called Kentucky Bluegrass.
Teams with this type of grass include:
- Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field
- Cleveland Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium
- Denver Broncos’ Empower Field
Advantages of Grass Fields
Grass fields have been a staple in football for decades, and many teams still prefer them for several reasons:
- Natural Feel: Grass fields provide a more natural playing surface that closely resembles the conditions players train on.
- Reduced Injuries: Studies have shown that grass fields tend to have lower injury rates compared to artificial turf, as they offer better shock absorption and reduce the risk of certain injuries, such as concussions.
- Improved Traction: Grass fields can provide better traction for players, allowing them to make quick cuts and changes in direction more easily.
- Aesthetics: Many fans and players appreciate the traditional look and feel of a well-maintained grass field.
Disadvantages of Grass Fields
While there are advantages to playing on grass fields, there are also some disadvantages that teams must consider:
- Maintenance: Grass fields require regular maintenance, including mowing, watering, fertilizing, and reseeding. This can be time-consuming and costly.
- Weather Conditions: Grass fields can be affected by adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or extreme heat, which may impact the quality of the playing surface.
- Field Conditions: Grass fields can become worn and uneven over the course of a game, especially in high-traffic areas like the line of scrimmage. This can affect player performance and increase the risk of injuries.
FAQ – What NFL Teams Have Grass Fields?
1. Why do some NFL teams prefer grass fields?
Some NFL teams prefer grass fields because they provide a more natural feel, reduce the risk of certain injuries, offer improved traction, and have aesthetic appeal.
2. Do grass fields impact the style of play in NFL games?
Grass fields can have a subtle impact on the style of play in NFL games.
The natural feel and improved traction of grass may influence players’ ability to make quick cuts and changes in direction.
3. Are there any advantages to playing on grass fields?
Yes, playing on grass fields can provide a more natural feel, reduce injury rates, offer improved traction, and have aesthetic appeal.
4. Do grass fields require more maintenance compared to artificial turf?
Yes, grass fields require regular maintenance, including mowing, watering, fertilizing, and reseeding. This can be time-consuming and costly.
5. What challenges do teams face when maintaining grass fields?
Teams face challenges such as adverse weather conditions, field wear and tear during games, and the need for ongoing maintenance to keep the grass field in optimal condition.
6. Why do the Green Bay Packers continue to maintain a grass field despite the harsh winter climate?
The Green Bay Packers have a long-standing tradition of playing on a grass field at Lambeau Field.
The team’s grounds crew has developed expertise in maintaining the field despite the challenges posed by the winter climate.
7. What type of playing surface does Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, have?
Levi’s Stadium features a hybrid grass playing surface called “FieldTurf Revolution 360,” which combines natural grass with synthetic fibers.
8. Are there any disadvantages to playing on grass fields?
Yes, grass fields require regular maintenance, can be affected by adverse weather conditions, and may become worn and uneven over the course of a game.
9. Have any NFL teams switched from grass to artificial turf in recent years?
Yes, several NFL teams have made the switch from grass to artificial turf in recent years due to the lower maintenance requirements and increased durability of artificial turf.
10. Are there any plans for the teams with grass fields to switch to artificial turf in the future?
While there are no immediate plans for the teams with grass fields to switch to artificial turf, it is always a possibility as technology continues to improve and teams evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of different playing surfaces.
11. Do grass fields provide a competitive advantage for certain teams?
Some teams may have a preference for playing on grass fields and believe it provides them with a competitive advantage.
However, the impact of the playing surface on game outcomes is difficult to quantify.
12. Are there any NFL regulations regarding playing surfaces?
The NFL has specific guidelines and standards for playing surfaces to ensure player safety and fair competition.
These guidelines apply to both grass and artificial turf fields.
13. How do teams prepare their grass fields for game day?
Teams prepare their grass fields by mowing the grass to the desired height, watering the field to maintain optimal moisture levels, and addressing any areas of wear or damage.
14. Are there any specific grass varieties used for NFL fields?
There are several grass varieties used for NFL fields, including Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermuda Grass, and Perennial Ryegrass.
The choice of grass depends on factors such as climate, field usage, and maintenance requirements.
While the prevalence of artificial turf has increased in the NFL, there are still several teams that maintain grass fields.
The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and San Francisco 49ers have chosen to stick with natural grass for various reasons, including the natural feel, reduced injury rates, improved traction, and aesthetic appeal.
Grass fields do require more maintenance compared to artificial turf and can be affected by adverse weather conditions.
However, these teams believe that the benefits of playing on grass outweigh the challenges.
As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see if more teams opt for hybrid surfaces or make the switch to artificial turf in the future.