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IT’S GREEN, IT’S LUSH, IT’S INSIDE

SHARE IT’S GREEN, IT’S LUSH, IT’S INSIDE

Grass? Check.

Colorful banners? Check.Tightened security? Check.

Lots of important-looking people with headsets and matching blazers? Check.

The U.S. World Cup opener against Switzerland at the indoor Pontiac Silverdome is exactly one week away and television crews from Japan, Mexico, Switzerland and CBS Evening News were on hand to report that, yes, indeed, the field is green and lush.

"Sometimes I wonder what the big deal is with the sod, and then I come here and see this, and it really is astonishing," said Detroit native Alan Rothenberg, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and chairman of the World Cup.

Rothenberg is so impressed with the turf that he hasn't ruled out awarding Detroit one of 12 franchises for Major League Soccer, the professional league that is scheduled to begin play April 1995. He spoke Friday with Michigan State turf scientists about the viability of keeping the grass indoors for several months.

"They assured me that technically, it's possible," Rothenberg said. "It would be expensive, and complicated, but it could be done. It would be cheaper than building a new stadium."