SBD/January 18, 2011/Facilities

Bears Will Not Replace Soldier Field Sod Despite Criticism

Several opposing players have complained about surface at Bears' Soldier Field
Soldier Field GM Tim LeFevour yesterday said that the Bears and the Chicago Park District "have no plans to replace the sod in advance" of Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Packers, according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Players for both teams "agree that the natural grass surface at Soldier Field is among the worst, if not the worst, in the league." But LeFevour said, "We talked with the Bears and we think there's good, firm footing. We will keep the sod." An NFL source indicated that league officials "would review field conditions throughout the week and work with the field manager to get a sense of field conditions leading up to Sunday." The source added that if the league officials "determine steps need to be taken to replace all or some of the sod, the league will have final say." Packers WR Greg Jennings said, "It's probably one of the worst -- probably the worst in the league. But at the same time, you have to go out before the game, pregame, and kind of get a feel of what you're working with." Jennings watched Sunday's Seahawks-Bears game and noted, "I know it affected those guys on a couple of routes that I saw -- couple guys slid. But that's going to happen regardless of what field you're on, if you're in that type of climate" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/18). Packers LB A.J. Hawk: "The field, you never know what you're going to get. It kind of depends." But Packers C Scott Wells said, "I have no concerns. It's equal field. It's the same for them as it is for us" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 1/17). Packers CB Tramon Williams: "Chicago’s field has always been like that. So it’s nothing different. It’s something that we’re prepared for, and you just got to have the right cleats or whatever. It shouldn’t really be a problem" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/18).
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