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Bears promise to get to work on Soldier Field grass

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Soldier Field is owned and operated by the city of Chicago, but after the debacle of Friday night’s open practice being canceled because the field surface was deemed unsafe, the Bears say they’re going to get more involved in ensuring the Soldier Field grass is up to par.

“We are going to take a more active role in the maintenance of the grass surface at Soldier Field,” Bears Chairman George McCaskey told “The Mully & Hanley Show” on WSCR-AM 670, via the Chicago Tribune.

But McCaskey does not seem interested in switching from grass to FieldTurf, as Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and other players have said the Bears should do.

“The Park District defers to us on what type of surface, and this is something we look at constantly on an annual basis,” McCaskey said. “At this time, studies indicate and our medical staff recommends that we stay with a natural-grass surface. Now, a natural-grass surface has to be properly maintained.”

So from the Bears’ point of view, the problem isn’t that Soldier Field has grass, it’s that the Chicago Park District doesn’t properly maintain the grass. And now the Bears are promising to take on that responsibility themselves.

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36 Responses to “Bears promise to get to work on Soldier Field grass”
  1. melonwearseaglespanties says: Aug 8, 2011 3:10 PM

    They shouldn’t be allowed to play at home till this gets fixed

  2. fflnick says: Aug 8, 2011 3:13 PM

    One can’t help but think that money is influence in going to field turf? True?
    With the McCaskeys it is usually about money.

    Something ever happens to Mrs McCaskey, those McCaskey trust funds babies that are throughout the Bears organization might actually have to earn their jobs.

  3. dcbassguy says: Aug 8, 2011 3:18 PM

    How has no one in Chicago figured out that it’s next to impossible to force grass to grow there when it’s cold?

    It’s super scary that they can’t even keep the surface proper in August.

    All the stadiums should be field turf. Grass is great to soften the injury risk if it’s perfect. San Diego may be the only place that it is possible during the entire season.

  4. hobartbaker says: Aug 8, 2011 3:18 PM

    Bears players hate having to rake, seed, and roll the turf for a couple hours after each practice.

  5. benh999 says: Aug 8, 2011 3:20 PM

    And here I thought that a municipal parks department would have provided a first-rate NFL-caliber field. Color me shocked.

  6. mikeypanic says: Aug 8, 2011 3:26 PM

    chinchbugs and manganese

  7. ironhawk says: Aug 8, 2011 3:30 PM

    Is it common for the city to be responsible for maintaining the field at a stadium? I figured that was the Stadium owner’s responsibility.

  8. rickditka says: Aug 8, 2011 3:31 PM

    I think this means that they are going to start to water the grass.

  9. zibikbeer says: Aug 8, 2011 3:37 PM

    now if the bears were an ounce as good as my steelers they wouldn’t have this problem yo

  10. scoops1 says: Aug 8, 2011 3:38 PM

    Jay Cutler asks that they don’t fix the field so he can find another excuse as to why he sux sooo much

  11. 6ringnationsparksjealousy says: Aug 8, 2011 3:40 PM

    They need to work on the whole city. What a dump. 6

  12. seabreezes51 says: Aug 8, 2011 3:55 PM

    Budget cutting

  13. davikes says: Aug 8, 2011 4:04 PM

    The grounds crew were the last to be informed that the lockout had ended. They thought it was going to last until February. Boy were they pissed that their poker game was so rudely interrupted by fans arriving for Family Day.

  14. capslockkey says: Aug 8, 2011 4:11 PM

    @ironhawk

    Well who do you think owns the stadium? The Chicago Park District.

  15. southcakpanther says: Aug 8, 2011 4:12 PM

    Come on Bears. You guys are in the second largest market in America, correct? Quit acting like the Gary Indiana Bears. It’s grass, not rocket science. Little water, little fertilizer, little sun. Boom, instant grass.

  16. colonel4ngus says: Aug 8, 2011 4:28 PM

    @fflnick if your post was dated 8/8/1982 it would have merit, but the whole “cheap” mccaskey notion is seriously antiquated.

    first off, the bears recent issues aren’t related to not spending money (they’re consistently amongst the highest payrolls in football), it is related to spending money wisely.

    secondly, the mccaskey’s don’t own solider field, the chicago park district does. there’s no doubt it would be wiser for cpd to put in field grass, considering they have to cough up $250K every time it is re-sodded, which has been 3/4 times every year.

    it is an embarrassment that the bears have let this issue linger for seasons, it is time for the NFL to step in as clearly the current group of directors are failing.

  17. mocheese1921 says: Aug 8, 2011 4:35 PM

    i have seen plenty of grass in front of peoples houses in and around the chicago area that looks suitable to play football on.maybe they could go knock on their door and ask them how they do it.

  18. jimmysee says: Aug 8, 2011 4:41 PM

    Bears vs Chicago city unions — I believe the city unions have a stonger defense.

  19. southcakpanther says: Aug 8, 2011 4:44 PM

    Grass can be grown by accident.

  20. CKL says: Aug 8, 2011 4:45 PM

    6ringnationsparksjealousy says:
    Aug 8, 2011 3:40 PM
    They need to work on the whole city. What a dump.
    __________________________________
    Your act is oooooooollllddd. Older than my Pats’ D line even. I hope the mods ban your IP since all you do is keep changing usernames.

    Chi is an awesome town but I would have to be a very rich person to live well there.

    I don’t know which way the wind blows vs. stadium orientation but it might get colder & windier there than it does in GB. Perhaps that has an effect and is why GB can have grass and Chi has trouble? Who knows? Cle has a grass field and NE can’t and I can vouch for winters sucking pretty bad in both places.

  21. hatesycophants says: Aug 8, 2011 4:55 PM

    What kind of team/city has to be told to maintain their goddamn field?

  22. tommytd says: Aug 8, 2011 4:57 PM

    They need to work on the whole city. What a dump. 6
    ***************************************************
    …and just where’s that Camelot you call home buddy?

  23. tommytd says: Aug 8, 2011 4:59 PM

    Hey Seattle has their 12th man (the fans) – our 12th man is our grounds crew. The turf is maintained by the freakin’ park district…what do you expect?

  24. theripster30 says: Aug 8, 2011 4:59 PM

    dcbassguy says:
    Aug 8, 2011 3:18 PM

    All the stadiums should be field turf. Grass is great to soften the injury risk if it’s perfect. San Diego may be the only place that it is possible during the entire season.

    ————

    What you’re saying is absurd. Not to mention 100% inaccurate.

    Oakland, San Fran, Arizona, Miami, Tampa, KC, Cleveland, GB, Denver, Washington, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville.

    That is a short list of teams who maintain a respectable field. The game was intended for grass, why would you want to get rid of that?

  25. tommytd says: Aug 8, 2011 5:02 PM

    Come on Bears. You guys are in the second largest market in America, correct? Quit acting like the Gary Indiana Bears. It’s grass, not rocket science. Little water, little fertilizer, little sun. Boom, instant grass.
    *****************************************************
    Hey the Bears can’t run a decent front office football operation! Do you really expect them to understand something as complex as growing grass? Fuggetaboutit –

  26. chetwynnr says: Aug 8, 2011 5:06 PM

    Don’t feel too bad Chicago Bears fans. You have a grass issue, the Lions still have William Clay Ford…

  27. packerjb says: Aug 8, 2011 5:17 PM

    For years Green Bay had similar turf issues that the Bears have experienced. A few seasons ago the Packers switched to this new type of turf which is a combination of real grass and woven materials. It looks like grass, and it has to be mowed, but it doesn’t die come November and December. Don’t know why the Bears/Park District just can’t call Green Bay for the solution, but I believe the Bears view the Packers hybrid turf in the same light as field turf, in that it leads to a higher number of leg injuries.

  28. emersonbigguns says: Aug 8, 2011 5:30 PM

    I think if all the Bears go to work on grass, they’ll fail their drug tests, and they wont be able to play. Perhaps it was the grounds crew that was on the grass. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  29. sakatak says: Aug 8, 2011 5:36 PM

    I think it is a public vs. private matter, public employees do not care about the product, they can’t get fired. If they were afraid of being fired they would have watered the field. This may seem like a simplification but what else could it be? How many other teams have grounds crew that are city employees.
    Even teams like the Packers have problems with private employees, about 20 years ago the grounds crew decided to go deer hunting the week of Thanksgiving, they forgot to cover the field and an unexpected snowstorm blew in. When the field was in horrible condition for the next home game the entire grounds crew was fired. It can happen, just seems to happen more often in Chicago.

  30. dfeltz says: Aug 8, 2011 6:39 PM

    I can’t seem to understand how this has become an issue over the last 3 – 4 years. We ( Bears fans) all ( mostly) knew that the city maintains the field, who got fired or retired a few years back and allowed this current moron to be in charge of the upkeep of the stadium? I’ve read everyone of the comments, and most of you are right, it isn’t rocket science to grow and maintain grass. And for the individuals who keep wanting the NFL to get involved, pretty sure the newly signed CBA didn’t have the NFL taking authority over the city of Chicago in it.

  31. fflnick says: Aug 8, 2011 6:40 PM

    colonel4ngus says:
    Aug 8, 2011 4:28 PM
    @fflnick if your post was dated 8/8/1982 it would have merit, but the whole “cheap” mccaskey notion is seriously antiquated.

    first off, the bears recent issues aren’t related to not spending money (they’re consistently amongst the highest payrolls in football), it is related to spending money wisely.

    secondly, the mccaskey’s don’t own solider field, the chicago park district does. there’s no doubt it would be wiser for cpd to put in field grass, considering they have to cough up $250K every time it is re-sodded, which has been 3/4 times every year.

    it is an embarrassment that the bears have let this issue linger for seasons, it is time for the NFL to step in as clearly the current group of directors are failing.
    ___________________________________
    It is related to spending money. If the McCaskeys get involved they would have to start baring more of the cost. The Bears are in the 2nd largest NFL market which they share with no one but they are only 9th in team valuations. They have debt/ value of only 9% which is one of the lowest in the league. Yet they lack behind small market teams. Think about the rational behind the neglect. It’s their players who they pay millions $ to but they defer the field maintenance to the city. If the players get hurt, it’s the team that suffers not the city all to save in operating costs. One can easily argue their operating costs have gone up in an attempt to go cheap with outsourcing. ie. Revenue lost from Family day
    Also throw in the damage done to their cache brand. They didn’t tell fans that Family day was cancelled until they arrived? Why? Neglect? Concession revenues? The trust fund football family are incompetent and with the added bonus of pound foolish.

  32. jimmysee says: Aug 8, 2011 6:50 PM

    If the Packers ground crew had gone bears hunting rather than deer hunting they’d still have their jobs!

  33. Soulman45 says: Aug 8, 2011 7:00 PM

    If they play on the moon they are still a 5 win team.

  34. asublimeday says: Aug 8, 2011 7:07 PM

    They need to work on the whole city. What a dump. 6

    ————-

    Hahahahha this coming from Pittsburgh?!

    Thank you for making my day with your hilarious comment.

  35. bearsrulepackdrool says: Aug 8, 2011 9:14 PM

    This is the same Park District that spent $470 million and built a brand new park a few years ago with a GIANT GLASS BEAN!!! (Millenium Park)

    You telling me they can’t fix this stadium?

    This city needs to work on its priorities.

    Lol, yea don’t believe me? See the giant statue of Marilyn Monroe on Michigan Ave. Doing the famous pose from “The Seven Year Itch”. Complete with giant panties. (Google it)

  36. macjacmccoy says: Aug 9, 2011 3:38 AM

    Thats the dumbest thing they can do. That field makes the Bears a better team. Its the greatest home field advantage in the league except for maybe Green Bay. They knoww how to play on that grass other teams dont. If you go back and watch the Eagles Bears game last year you will see how much that field helped them win. Eagles players were slipping and falling on the ground every other play. They couldnt run their routes or pursue a ball carrier making a cut without slipping. Im positive if that game would have been played anywhere else the Bears would have been put away quite easily.

    I think its nuts that they would even consider changing that field.

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