Part of today’s conversation with Sounders’ general manager Adrian Hanauer inevitably involved the decision to play a third MLS season on the existing turf, a decision that recently revived when Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen indicated that the poor quality of the turf could affect his lineup decisions on Satuday.
“I think (Toronto doesn’t) know, don’t really have any reason to have any expertise on our turf,” Hanauer said. “I agree with Sigi that turf is not preferable to anyone. But the reality is that we are partners with the Seahawks and we follow their lead in terms of surface. The reality is that the football guys prefer a field that is a little harder; the soccer guys prefer a field that’s a little softer. For us in this stadium with our partners the Seahawks, it’s going to be a continual partnership and area of compromise to optimize for both teams.”
Hanauer was asked if — Seahawks aside — the club had determined the turf was good enough for a third MLS season.
“It was a combined decision with the Seahawks,” he said. “Sounders only would probably replace the turf more often, would err on the side of replacing it more often. Three years to us seems like the absolute maximum; two years better; one year best. But again, it’s sort of an on-going process of compromise with our partners here in the stadium.”