MetLife Stadium Installs New Synthetic Turf Creating Safer Surface for NFL Players
Brand new turf has been installed at Metlife Stadium, home of the Giants and Jets, in hopes of decreasing injuries sustained in past years on their old, highly-criticized playing surface.
The New York teams will now face opponents on what’s referred to as a FieldTurf CORE system, the first multi-layer dual-polymer monofilament fiber. According to an article written by ESPN, this “design claims to deliver a lower incidence of total injuries compared to various infill weights. The performance and durability of the surface are backed by multiple independent certified sources and was tested to 200,000 cycles on the fiber wear test by Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research.”
Their former surface known as slit-film turf was the subject of many complaints in the past, particularly the San Francisco 49ers, after five players sustained lower-body injuries in the same contest against the Jets in Week 2 of the 2020 season.
Back in November of 2022, the NFL Player’s Association called for several things that would make surfaces and the surrounding areas safer for the athletes including “(1) the immediate replacement and ban of all slit-film turf; (2) no longer allowing games to be played on fields with “clear visual abnormalities”; (3) the raising of the field standards and testing the safety and performance of all surfaces; (4) the clearing of excess people and dangerous equipment from the sidelines.
NFLPA president JC Tretter also explained in his letter that these slit-film surfaces feature “higher in-game injury rates” for non-contact injuries when compared to other surfaces, along with more missed playing time due to injury and he called for immediate removal of those surfaces. At the time, venues using the slit-film turf included the Giants, Jets, Lions, Vikings, Saints, Colts, and Bengals, according to Tretter.
The powers that be at Metlife Stadium finally took action and let’s hope that this new FieldTurf CORE system will provide a safer playing environment for the Jets and Giants, along with all the visiting teams in 2023 and beyond.