FedEx Field playing surface undergoes major reconstruction originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
During the 2021 NFL season, FedEx Field will have a different look to it. Not only will there be more fans in the stands, but the playing surface is being given a makeover as well.
First reported by The Athletic's Ben Standig and Zac Boyer, FedEx Field's surface will undergo major reconstruction for the first time since 1997 when the stadium became home to the Washington Football Team.
The process will include a complete renovation of the drainage and irrigation systems as well as the laying of new sod and removal of a foot or more of soil. It will begin on Monday and is expected to take two months to complete.
The project, reportedly spearheaded by head coach Ron Rivera and team president Jason Wright, is something that many believe has been a long time coming. While the surface has undergone minor cosmetic changes in recent years, it has still received criticism from home and opposing players in past seasons.
“We’ve resodded more often, and we’ve done other things strategically to improve the surface, and it’s gotten better the last couple of years,” Chris Bloyer, the team’s senior vice president for operations and guest experience, said to The Athletic. “But this is really a big move in the direction of a vast improvement. Let’s say they were not baby steps, but close, in how it was getting better year over year the last few years. This is a significant renovation and will be much different.”
FedEx Field's playing surface has become somewhat infamous for its less-than-ideal qualities for NFL players. Robert Griffin III's injury in the playoffs in 2012 brought attention to it and past comments from Kirk Cousins and others have hindered its reputation further.
Now, it appears that Rivera and company are ready to put an end to that with a major overhaul of the playing surface that will run through the stadium's lease in 2027.