SBD/Issue 51/Facilities & Venues

Players Criticize Heinz Field Turf; Sod Will Be Replaced Sunday

Sod Was Torn Up In The Middle Of Heinz Field
During Yesterday's Raiders-Steelers Game

The NFL is "closely monitoring conditions at Heinz Field" after the Raiders "became the latest Steelers opponent to complain about the playing surface," according to a league source cited by Jason La Canfora of NFL.com. The Patriots also "complained about the field conditions last week." The portion of the field between the hashmarks between the 30-yard lines is "pocked with soft spots and areas where the sod easily comes out." The  Steelers "plan to re-sod at some point, but timing is an issue." The Univ. of Pittsburgh will play West Virginia Univ. at Heinz Field on Friday, and the venue will host the Western Pennsylvania high school playoffs Saturday. La Canfora: "The Steelers know this problem will be much worse before it can get better"
(NFL.com, 11/21). In Pittsburgh, Fittipaldo & Bouchette report yesterday's contest was the "last NFL game on that particular grass." New sod will be "laid down starting Sunday." Raiders DE Tommy Kelly said, "The field is absolutely atrocious. They have to do something about that. They got big divots like they're playing golf out there." Steelers LB James Harrison, who "had to be attended to by trainers late in the game," said, "The middle of that field is nothing (but) a sand pit, so when I hit the ground it all went into my eyes" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/22).  

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