Hard Rock Stadium Playing Surface Under Scrutiny After Players Call Field "Trash"
The playing surface at Hard Rock Stadium "was a mess" for yesterday's Jets-Dolphins game, though it was "certified as in compliance with league standards" prior to kickoff, according to Adam Beasley of the MIAMI HERALD. The footing was "poor enough to affect the game -- and frustrate some players." Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi "slipped a number of times trying to cut," and the common criticism inside the Dolphins’ locker room was that, "outside of the numbers, the field was 'trash.'" Fox' Michael Strahan even called the field "'not suitable' for football" during halftime. Beasley notes Hard Rock Stadium’s field has been "criticized for weeks," and it is "really difficult to grow grass in the shade, with the grass getting direct sunlight just a few hours a day -- if that." The Dolphins are "aware the turf is not holding as well as it did in the past and plans to spend the money it takes to fix the problem." Yesterday's game was just the second home game this season for the Dolphins, though the Univ. of Miami has played three times at Hard Rock Stadium, including Saturday's game against Syracuse (MIAMI HERALD, 10/23). In West Palm Beach, Joe Schad noted the field "appeared in poor condition" during the Syracuse-UM game due "largely to a downpour that occurred before kickoff." During the time between the two games, the Dolphins "re-sodded the mid-field logo, vacuumed the field, mowed the field, rolled it for compaction and painted." The Hard Rock Stadium field has "traditionally been very good, though there are sometimes challenges posed by heavy rains and the use of the stadium for multiple events such as concerts, soccer matches and college and pro football games" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 10/22).