Kira Hoffelmeyer

Autzen Stadium Sees Real Grass for First Time in 47 Years

Autzen Stadium took on a new, natural look to host star-studded international soccer match

Autzen Stadium has received a dramatic makeover -- at least for this weekend. For the first time in 47 years, grass was laid down inside Autzen Stadium just in time for the International Champions Cup match on July 24 between the two European storied soccer clubs, Paris St. Germain and Inter Milan.

“So many of the stadiums now have gone to field turf, and it’s quite good,” said Charlie Stillitano chairman of Relevant Sports. “The difference is that these guys have to play on grass once they start their season. They’ve all demanded that they want to play on the same surface that they will be playing on when the season starts two weeks later.”

Autzen Stadium opened in 1967 with grass as the playing surface, but quickly converted to artificial turf in 1969. Autzen will re-install the artificial surface following the game.

"This level of soccer to be played here in the state of Oregon, it's fantastic," said University of Oregon Senior Associate Athletic Director Craig Pintens. "We've got two of the best teams in the world here. "We've had turf as long as people can remember, and it's going to be very different to see grass inside of Autzen."

Some stars that will be out on Paris St. Germain's side of the ball are Uruguay's Edinson Cavani, Argentina's Ángel Di María, and Brazil's David Luiz. On Inter Milan, look out for Argentina's Mauro Icardi and Brazil's João Miranda. 

Eugene is one of 10 national locations for the tournament. Other hosting venues include Michigan's Big House in Ann Arbor, and Ohio Stadium in Columbus, home of Ohio State.

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