It looks like the San Diego Chargers will have an additional challenge to deal with along with tackling and lack of defensive front seven depth. San Francisco’s KTVU Channel 2 reported today (Friday) that crews at Levi’s Stadium, the brand new $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara, have to replace the natural grass surface but are confident the newly sodded field will be ready in time for Sunday’s tilt with the Chargers.
The same report quoted Chargers Coach Mike McCoy as saying that the team will thoroughly inspect the turf before playing the 49ers on Sunday.
As reported by Pro Football Talk on Thursday, Forty-Niners Coach Jim Harbaugh cut short a public practice on Wednesday after players were slipping on the heavily damaged turf. Apparently the new turf has failed to take hold after only three events (one of which was the Broncos-Niners tilt). Bandera Bermuda grass, a heavier turf that is ideal for heavier traffic events like football was being installed today.
Comcast Sports Net Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reported that while stadiums replace natural grass during the season, doing the deed in the middle of August isn’t normal. Yet, this instance isn’t the first time turf has been replaced on short. Maiocco cited last year’s BCS Championship game were new turf was put on the Rose Bowl in Pasadena just five days after a college bowl game was played there. Other activities to include a high school double-header featuring powerhouse Concord De La Salle may be in jeopardy.
A spokesman for the Forty-Niners has assured everyone that the field will be ready in time for today’s game.
While Chargers fans and players should be ready for some football on Sunday (rosters need to be reduced to 75 by Aug. 26), depending on the field condition, look out for slipping and ripping (ah, turf-wise).