After players complained about the slick playing surface in Munich last year, the NFL has installed a hybrid field for the two games in Germany this month, the Associated Press reports.
Players from the Buccaneers and Seahawks repeatedly slipped on the natural grass a year ago, and they damaged the pitch at Allianz Arena so badly that groundskeepers had to replace the grass for Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga soccer champions.
The Dolphins and Chiefs play at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt on Nov. 5 with the Patriots and Colts in the same stadium a week later.
“It’s definitely something we’re always reevaluating — the U.S. colleagues are reevaluating — and there was the ask for this year to have another pitch in there,” Alexander Steinforth, the NFL’s General Manager for Germany, told the AP.
Hybrid surfaces are popular in soccer stadiums across Europe. The fields generally are 90 percent or more of natural grass with synthetic fibers woven into them as reinforcement.
The NFL declined to discuss specifics of the hybrid surface, including the cost, per the AP.
Bayern Munich switched to a hybrid field at Allianz Arena this summer.