Chicago Sun-Times

New sod at Soldier Field looks spotty for regular-season opener

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The Chicago Park District completed a complete re-sodding of Soldier Field on Wednesday after two preseason games, a handful of prep games and two U2 concerts over the past month.

Promises for a beautiful field were not met. I'm not sure how it will look on television sets, but from my perch in the press box at the five-yard line in the Southeast corner of the stadium, it doesn't look too good. It's very apparent that a sod job has been done. There are a handful of workers surveying the turf and players are beginning to trickle out on the field. They did paint the "C" in the right spot at midfield this time. It was clear before the last preseason game vs. Cleveland that the "C" was initially drawn in the wrong spot.

Tight end Desmond Clark ripped the surface in his blog two weeks ago. Players have made it clear they've never approved of the surface. I can't say how it will be from a performance standpoint. It might look bad and actually perform well. From a visual standpoint, probably not what the Bears were hoping their home turf would look like.

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7 Comments

surveyors taking notes on the surface a couple hours before the game is not a good sign. It's not like they are writing, "Oh the luscious blades seamlessly transition from the endzone to the goal line."

Lets hope no one gets injured because of the field (Imagine if Cutler or Forte got hurt).

Brad, at what point do you feel the Bears will demand control of the field? or is that part of playing in soldier field?

Brad,

The Soldier Field grass surface looked just terrible on the TV. Clearly large sections of the grass was dead... hard to believe it was fresh sod. And then it was easy to see chunks of the filed coming up as the players ran on it. As well as people slipping even before it rained. Year after year the Park District tells its lie about how well they are taking care of the field only to have their lie proven again and again. Yes, if Chicago cannot even maintain a quality football field, how does it expect to develop and maintain Olympic quality venues? Obviously, it cannot for it will not based on how they have treated the Bears... a paying customer.

Mr. Biggs,

I would like to know what Mr. Clark's and your background is that qualifies you as a turf expert. People do go to school to earn different levels of degrees in turf. Also, if the team were to play a game after that U2 concert on the turf, im pretty sure it would feel like concrete under the weight of thousands of people and the worlds largest stage. And not to mention the grass would be completely dead which looks alot worse rather than just being spotty. The Bears played the Pittsburg Steelers who play in the same if not worse weather and field conditions at Heinz Field as the Bears do at Soldier Field and have managed to win 2 of the last 4 Super Bowls. Perhaps its maybe the team and not the field that is the problem, afterall they are professionals and are paid very well to play a game that they can adjust to the conditons.

My two cents.

Joe,

doesn't take an expert in anything to look at a football field, see giant dead patches on "new grass", see blatantly obvious lines in between the different sod rolls, watch chunks of the field fly every time a player moves, and watch every star/speedy athlete on the field fall flat on their backs despite cleats...

did you watch the game? tell Olsen, Brown, and Tillman that the turf is fine.

if you knew anything the grass wasnt dead. take any plant and move it and it will go into shock. i did see the game, didnt notice chunks flying, players on both teams were slipping.

Everytime they replace the sod at Soldier Field someone gets hurt. Evergreen Turf, come in and show the Bears how to lay some sod.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 20, 2009 12:44 PM.

Keys to game: Bears know the significance of not starting 0-2 was the previous entry in this blog.

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