Red Bull Arena may get natural grass pitch

Red Bull Salzburg has revealed plans to replace the stadium’s artificial grass pitch with natural soil in a bid to host national team matches.Dietmar Beiersdorfer, head of energy drink producer Red Bull’s football department, said today (Thurs): “We like the idea of our stadium being the venue of matches of the national team in the future.”Austrian Football Federation (ÖFB) officials have said in the past they would consider the 32,000-seat Red Bull Arena – praised by many football fans for its architecture – as a venue for national team matches but also for the final of the Austrian Cup competition.Beiersdorfer said the plan was to set up a natural grass pitch this summer. He added however the last word had not been spoken yet on the issue since the province of Salzburg is the owner of the stadium.The arena’s artificial soil has been regarded as an advantage for the home team against most opponents who are used to playing on natural grass pitches.Red Bull, who currently lead the Austrian Bundesliga, clash with Standard Liege in the Europa League tonight. The Belgian side won last week’s first leg of the round of final 32 by a score of 3-2 after the “Bulls” had led 2-0 at one point.Huub Stevens’s team are facing the next crucial match on Sunday when they play away to Rapid Vienna. Vice champions Rapid are currently in second place in the Bundesliga. The match has been sold out since last Tuesday.THE BUNDESLIGA TABLE AFTER 21 ROUNDS:Red Bull Salzburg, 45 pointsRapid Vienna, 42Austria Vienna, 42Sturm Graz, 36SV Ried, 28Mattersburg, 26Magna Wiener Neustadt, 25LASK Linz, 21Kapfenberg, 18Austria Kärnten, 7