Brand new Levi's Stadium is already on its second playing surface
Published: Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:47
by Zach Barnett
Saturday August 23rd Update:
49ers COO Al Guido told the MercuryNews that the new sod is now in place for tomorrow's game against the Chargers. Now hear this...following the game, the "field will be pulled up again" for inspection. Based on what they see, the 49ers might replace this new sod with a different strain of grass.
Original post (Thursday August 21):
Jim Harbaugh's team has been outscored 57-3 through two preseason games thus far, but that jaw is undoubtedly clinched over another issue at the moment: the field at brand spanking new Levi's Stadium is atrocious. After only three events, including one 49ers home game, the new $1.2 billion facility is already working on its second playing surface.
According to CSN Bay Area, the field was so shaky that Jim Harbaugh had to halt practice out of concern for his players' safety.
"Several players lost their footing and large divots were created on seemingly every play. There were small patches of replacement sod that were discolored and looked uneven," writes Matt Maiocco. "Finally, when wide receiver Stevie Johnson hit the ground hard after slipping on a routine out-route, Harbaugh stopped practice."
As you can see below, the grounds crew spent Thursday morning ripping up the bulk of the field, stretching beyond the hashmarks and from goal line to goal line.
The original surface was put down in April, and apparently didn't have time to properly take root. Optimistically, the 49ers will have new sod down by Thursday afternoon. San Francisco hosts its second preseason game on Sunday. In the three weeks between the Niners' final home preseason game and regular season home opener, Levi's Stadium also hosts two high school football games on Aug. 29, and a Mexico-Chile soccer match on Sept. 6. And then the real stuff starts.
Thankfully there isn't much scheduled beyond 49ers games between September and February. Cal and Oregon play there on Oct. 24, and the stadium hosts the Pac-12 Championship on Dec. 5 and the San Francisco Bowl on Dec. 30.
There's also this, from CSN Bay Area: "The Levi’s Stadium sod, known as Bandera Bermuda, was selected for its ability to hold up under frequent usage, the team announced at the time of its installation."
Chances are the 49ers this isn't the last time the 49ers will have to truck in that Bandera Bermuda this season.
If you can't create a safe, secure football field in four months when no one's using it, what hope do you have of installing a stable playing field for the duration of the season in two days?
Read more here.