SBD/August 21, 2014/Facilities

49ers Forced To Cut Practice Short Due To Sod Issues At Levi's Stadium

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh yesterday cut practice short "after divots kept coming up" and players "perilously lost footing on the 4-month-old sod" at Levi's Stadium, according to Cam Inman of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Players, and even Niners GM Trent Baalke, "repeatedly tried patting down divots, which often came up from pass rushers and linemen." The grounds crew on Tuesday "replaced several patches of sod, in 1-foot-by-3-foot segments, throughout the field." A Niners spokesperson "would not reveal further details about the plans or whether the sod would be replaced in its entirety." Field conditions "were called into question after the 49ers' first game Sunday." Niners S Eric Reid said that the sod "was coming up and likely needed more time to take root." Levi's Stadium hosts a Chargers-Niners preseason game on Sunday, which will be shown nationally on Fox (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/21). In Sacramento, Matt Barrows noted the Niners yesterday "finished the workout on its usual practice fields" in a session that "was closed to fans and media." Fans at the open practice were "bewildered," and the team announced via loudspeaker that they "would get complementary tickets to the team’s new museum." There "won’t be a lot of opportunity for the sod to lay deep roots" before Sunday's game. Levi's Stadium is then "scheduled to host a high school football doubleheader" on Aug. 29, and an int'l soccer match between Mexico and Chile on Sept. 6 (SACBEE.com, 8/20). Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said Levi's Stadium has "all the bells and whistles, all the Wi-Fi," but the 49ers apparently "brought down the Candlestick Park turf" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 8/21).
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