The Bears are one of the league’s traditional franchises, and their playing surface is traditionally one of the worst.
But former General Manager Jerry Angelo said in a radio interview with 87.7 FM that he thought the team was close to installing artificial turf at Soldier Field before he was fired in 2011.
“I was a proponent in the end about turf,” Angelo said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I felt like we needed to do that because our field was not a consistent surface. Our players complained about it a lot. There is nothing you can do.
“Our groundskeepers are great. It’s just the weather, and you need to have a consistent surface and artificial turf obviously gives you that. We did a lot of studies and I felt like we were right around the corner from doing it. I think it is the way to go.”
Soldier Field spokesman Luca Serra said no change is in motion.
“We’re always open to that conversation with the Bears,” Serra said. “Based on recent conversations, there really hasn’t been much movement in the way of switching in the imminent future. For the Bears, it’s a health and wellness issue for the players. Right now, they still really believe, based on the data they have, that they prefer to play on the natural-turf field.
“We’ve made it clear in our discussions we’ll entertain anything they want to do.”
The Chicago Park District would pay for a change to an artificial surface, which would be cost-effective since they pay for annual re-sodding. But the Bears would have to pay if they decided to change back to grass after that.
There were fewer complaints last year than there had been in the past, but it’s still a bad surface, which could easily be made more consistent and playable, unless the Bears just like it better the other way.