AP Photo/Evgeny Biyatov

2018 World Cup Final in Russia will be played on hybrid surface for first time.

By Malika Andrews
November 17, 2016

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It would be difficult for a turf field to survive Russia’s winter. Turf grass requires sunlight, warm air and water – and Russia’s climate is too severe to get a balance of those four ingredients.

With the 2018 World Cup final being held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the venue has had to make adjustments. SIS Pitches, a British company, installed this month a pitch made of SISGrass – a natural turf reinforced pitch featuring synthetic fibers and SISAir technology. SISAir will help to work to manage the soil moisture and remove excess water that could come from Russia’s intense storms via a network of pipes that blows air under the pitch.

This is the first time a World Cup final will have been played on anything but all-natural grass with a hybrid surface. Luzhniki Stadium will also be the site of group stage matches and a semifinal. SIS Pitches also installed at Moscow’s Otkritie Arena, where the other semifinal will be played.

SISGrass will also feature a heat management system that will help the ground from freezing.

Ilyas Kobal, the managing director of SIS Pitches, said players likely will notice that “the pitch will be stronger, more durable and more predictable in its performance.”

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