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Soldier Field ground crew failed to properly water field

soldier-field-turf Getty Images

The bad news is that the inability of the Bears to practice at Soldier Field on Friday night was avoidable.  The good news, if there is any, is that the situation will be remedied before the August 13 preseason opener there.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve had some extreme heat conditions,” Soldier Field general manager Tim LeFevour told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.  “It was a miscalculation on our ground crew’s part.  They did not get enough water on the field.  Some of the seams opened up.  It’s not an issue or concern with next week’s game.  We know it can be corrected.  But in the best interest of the team tonight, it was the right move to send them back to Bourbonnais to practice.”

LeFevour said that the Bears could have practiced on the field Thursday night.  The problem was noticed at 1:00 p.m. CT Friday, and it couldn’t be corrected by the scheduled start of practice at 7:00 p.m. CT.

Fans who showed up for the canceled practice received reimbursement for tickets and parking.  They were allowed to enter Soldier Field, where they were treated to free food and drinks, along with a fireworks show.

The mishap has yet to persuade the Bears to shift from grass to artificial turf.  “Right now, the Bears have determined they want to continue to play on grass in the northern climate of Chicago,” LeFevour said.  “And if that’s the surface they want to play on, we’re going to continue to commit ourselves to giving them the best playing surface.”

We’re going to continue to hope that the NFL steps in and tells the Bears to tear up the grass and install Field Turf.

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45 Responses to “Soldier Field ground crew failed to properly water field”
  1. dgforreal says: Aug 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    Fans who showed up for the canceled practice received reimbursement for tickets and parking. They were allowed to enter Soldier Field, where they were treated to free food and drinks, along with a fireworks show.

    Props for taking care of the fans.

  2. johnnyb216 says: Aug 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    They wouldn’t have to switch to field turf if the grounds crew could figure out how to properly grow grass.

  3. Waxxx4321 says: Aug 5, 2011 11:47 PM

    Were in a Recession Here@@@@!!!!

  4. klunge says: Aug 5, 2011 11:49 PM

    The grounds crew probably got ‘furloughed’ or laid off during the lockout, why would they come water the place??? That field always sucks anyways, what’s the big deal now?

  5. carolinethedog says: Aug 5, 2011 11:52 PM

    Lifelong Bears fan here…..

    Can we get the field together already???

    Seriously, I mean, wtf?

  6. snap0179 says: Aug 5, 2011 11:53 PM

    The ground crew pulled a Jay Cutler and quit, oh well they installed a spaceship on Soldier Field so switching over to Field Turf should be no problem!

  7. suckleague says: Aug 5, 2011 11:57 PM

    Good news, Jay Cutler is retaining water, so maybe this will all work out.

  8. djrigg0616 says: Aug 5, 2011 11:57 PM

    The Chicago grounds crew feels the effects of the lockout.

  9. scytherius says: Aug 5, 2011 11:59 PM

    This is absurd. What’s it going to take … a career ending injury to someone? C’mon NFL. This is a joke. If you are truly worried about player injuries, stop screwing around and fix this.

  10. ugaboogaloo says: Aug 6, 2011 12:02 AM

    Grass is better, but if you’re so incompetent that you can’t properly water a damn field, maybe you should go to FieldTurf.

  11. 7pints says: Aug 6, 2011 12:04 AM

    Gotta love Chicago. That’s okay, Barack Obama has failed to properly run this country. Par for the course I suppose.

  12. oxnardcalif says: Aug 6, 2011 12:05 AM

    amigo, it needs mas agua

  13. ravenspit says: Aug 6, 2011 12:06 AM

    Who are these clowns in charge of the field. You would have thought these “experts” would have figured out that because it was extremely hot that maybe the grass would need more water. Damn, Chicago is a mess.

  14. blackfootkiller says: Aug 6, 2011 12:10 AM

    They’re union workers robbing the tax payers in Chicago…You didn’t actually expect them to work did you? Just give them those high wages, fully paid benefits, and a bloated pensions…They’ll be hiding over there taking a nap.

  15. chobes68 says: Aug 6, 2011 12:25 AM

    Screw the Field Turf. Install a hybrid system like Green Bay or Denver, where its still grass, but with a synthetic weave.

  16. iamgoodkid says: Aug 6, 2011 12:29 AM

    felicita

  17. hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 12:43 AM

    The tumbleweeds proved to be the biggest problem, along with the hobos sleeping over between trains, while riding the rails westward to California.

  18. prior0knowledge says: Aug 6, 2011 1:03 AM

    And the manager, Tim LeFevour, never checked? What kind of manager is this? He knew about the heat also. He should be fired for incompetence.

  19. rayjayjohnsonjr says: Aug 6, 2011 1:06 AM

    I don’t recall Dick Butkus or Walter EVER complaining about the field conditions…..

  20. joodas88 says: Aug 6, 2011 1:14 AM

    Am I the only one who kind of enjoys the sloppy conditions? Watching the Steelers and Bears play on old, ground up field takes me to a place of football fandom that not many things can. Maybe I’m just an old man (in a young man’s body…very attractive body).

  21. stonecld33 says: Aug 6, 2011 1:22 AM

    Maybe they cancelled the practice at the stadium because the fans might have started to chant ” We Want Orton, We Want Orton” used the grass as an excuse.

  22. cavredleg15 says: Aug 6, 2011 1:38 AM

    Grass works in Green Bay. Why can’t it work in Chicago(other than the clusterfudge that they already have going on)?

  23. thetooloftools says: Aug 6, 2011 1:58 AM

    what about the BIG LAKE you are next to ?
    NO water ?
    hahahahahahaha.
    WOW.
    I guess those away teams were NOT crying after all. Shame shame… can’t even let your own players PRACTICE on it.
    Nuff said.

  24. ee00ee says: Aug 6, 2011 2:04 AM

    It’s not the last thing that’s going to come apart at the seams at Soldier Field this season. What team are you eyeing up to screw up next Martz ya friggin “genius”.

  25. kalispellmt says: Aug 6, 2011 2:18 AM

    This from the Chicago Tribune:

    July 28, 2011
    122-year rainfall record for July falls, more storms coming

    Musta had the field covered.

  26. kalispellmt says: Aug 6, 2011 2:20 AM

    Why is it that

  27. kalispellmt says: Aug 6, 2011 2:21 AM

    EVERYONE but the Bears front office accept the fact that this field stinks?

  28. rolandsloan says: Aug 6, 2011 2:21 AM

    I know it won’t be easy…..But you might want
    to ask the folks in Green Bay for some help. It
    seems they know how to maintain a grass field
    in a similar, if not worse climate.

  29. hedleykow says: Aug 6, 2011 2:30 AM

    Not to brag, but I fully believe that for 60 or 70k a year, I could find a way to not screw up watering a few square feet of grass.

  30. spartytime says: Aug 6, 2011 3:46 AM

    Football is meant to play on grass… Remember the old days where there was no such thing as artificial turf and stuff…Just plain old smash mouth football. No players complained back in the day. Do You high school kids play football on artificial turf?

  31. skoobyfl says: Aug 6, 2011 5:03 AM

    Maybe the Bears needed a place to hibernate & wanted a cave?? They’ve been doing this for years now, so it’s only natural.

  32. jimmysee says: Aug 6, 2011 6:30 AM

    This would never have happened in Green Bay.

  33. txndave says: Aug 6, 2011 7:07 AM

    Great job on taking care of the fans bears.

  34. jwil444 says: Aug 6, 2011 7:36 AM

    the NFL needs to step in and save chicago from itself and the slack ass union workers who refuse to do the job properly- what a joke, just like chicago politics, and a chicago president……..

  35. depotnator says: Aug 6, 2011 7:43 AM

    There are those who think the Bears prefer grass because they can strategically control the playing surface ( and sidelines) depending upon the opponent. IIRC John Carlson ( Seattle) was injured in last season’s playoff game when he landed on the ‘frozen tundra’ along the sidelines.

  36. CKL says: Aug 6, 2011 8:15 AM

    johnnyb216 says: Aug 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    They wouldn’t have to switch to field turf if the grounds crew could figure out how to properly grow grass.
    _______________________________________
    Mr Kraft wanted Gillette always to be natural grass and I like that thought too. Unfortunately after sinking tons and tons of money into trying to keep their grass playable, he finally had to go to Field Turf in 06. And their grass field was less than 5 years old at the time. I know some other cold climates have grass, but some are just not going to work no matter how much time, money and effort that is put into it.
    Pittsburgh needs FT too…very very very badly. Horrendous field.

  37. swensose says: Aug 6, 2011 8:47 AM

    Well it’s better than the roof of our stadium falling in on you. Right Viking fans?

  38. bcar1023 says: Aug 6, 2011 9:09 AM

    Well that ought to help Cutler and .60 seconds he’ll have to throw the ball in the Mike Martz system. Shortened off season + overly complicated offense + new center = IR + Cutler

  39. dd393 says: Aug 6, 2011 9:09 AM

    “Fans who showed up for the canceled practice received reimbursement for tickets and parking. They were allowed to enter Soldier Field, where they were treated to free food and drinks, along with a fireworks show.”

    ====================================

    Probably the best show they’ll see all season at the Big Bedpan. Except for the muggers in the parking garages.

  40. tombrookshire says: Aug 6, 2011 9:13 AM

    Wrong on so many levels. Charging fans to watch a practice? Failing to maintain a million dollar football field? Not being ready for an event in your facility. Some has his head up his a**. Probably, a lower level supervisor will lose his job over this, not the guy in charge. Love the excuses too, “Well, it could have been used Thursday.” Uh, the practice is Friday, hello!

  41. chris465 says: Aug 6, 2011 9:18 AM

    According to the news in WGN, they ran out of food and beverages. So, some fans didn’t get anything.

  42. sakatak says: Aug 6, 2011 9:32 AM

    Why is there nothing in the new CBA about turf? I would think the playing surfaces should have been addressed, it’s not like the NFL is blind to Chicago’s problems.

  43. bearsblow says: Aug 6, 2011 9:34 AM

    The Bears are a joke. The fans are a joke. Thats why they still hang onto 1985. 26yrs ago D-bags! Get over it

  44. alreggie says: Aug 6, 2011 9:57 AM

    You can’t grow grass in the winter where it’s cold!! Can’t people figure this out??? Chicago just wants defenders to keep falling down so they can score.

  45. schmitty2 says: Aug 6, 2011 11:55 AM

    The sad fact is these field workers could probably step into Front office roles and make better personnel decisions then the current guys IMO

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