BOSTON (CBS) — One muddy day in Foxboro in 2006 led to a massive change for the Patriots organization, with the team switching from a natural grass playing field to an artificial surface in a matter of weeks. Despite some tweaks and changes to that artificial turf, the organization never looked back.

That, however, could change.

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According to The Boston Globe, as part of Robert Kraft’s pitch to host World Cup matches in 2026, the Patriots owner is willing to switch the field back to natural grass.

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The report noted that Gillette Stadium is among 17 bidders to host games in the U.S. in 2026. Eleven locales will be chosen. The report stated the four stadiums — AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, MetLife Stadium in the New York City area, and FedEx Field near the nation’s capital — are “locks” to host games and will be considered to host the final.

While the change would obviously be made with the World Cup in mind, it would obviously affect the Patriots as well. Gillette Stadium had a natural grass surface from its opening in 2002 until the aforementioned loss to the Jets on a muddy day in November 2006. When the Patriots returned home two weeks later to host the Bears — the famous Tom Brady/Brian Urlacher juke moment took place in that game — the new turf had been installed.

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Foxboro Stadium hosted six World Cup matches in the 1994 World Cup.

CBSBoston.com Staff