Monday, August 8, 2011
Soldier Field GM said turf will be ready
Soldier Field general manager Tim LeFevour said Monday he has "no doubt" the turf will be ready for Saturday's game against the Buffalo Bills, despite the Chicago Bears canceling Friday's practice because seams were opening on the field.
The Bears canceled the practice part of their annual FanFest because of the turf conditions. LeFevour said the problem was the field, which has been widely criticized by Bears players and opponents, wasn't watered adequately enough. He said the philosophy is to let the field dry when a team has as much speed as the Bears.
"We got water back on the field, the seams closed up, and as I said, our groundskeeper, he usually likes to dry the field down for about three days before practice or a game for the Bears," LeFevour said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "We've learned what's happened with this, and we can't do that this week, and we'll probably be watering right up to the day before the game because it still will be firm for Saturday night."
Bears president George McCaskey said on WSCR (670 AM) that the Bears will take a more active role in maintaining field conditions at Soldier Field, which is owned by The Chicago Park District.
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has called Soldier Field's turf a "disaster," and he said Saturday that FieldTurf should be installed.
"I know there's a constant debate about the field, whether it should go to artificial or whether it's grass," LeFevour said. "I know with a fast team, the players all the time talk about how they want to cut and plant better, but right now, the Bears made the decision they want to stay with grass.
LeFevour said the park district could go to artificial turf quickly, but that's not what most Bears want.
"Bears players say they still want to play on grass," he said, "so it's one of those things that, you hear a lot a veterans, a lot of the older players, a lot of the leaders of the team say we would like to switch to an artificial surface, and yet the majority of the players aren't saying that."
McCaskey said on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000 that the reason the Bears prefer natural grass is because studies have shown it's a safer surface.