Soldier Field Turf To Be Replaced ... Again

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 14, 2012 9:30PM

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Photo credit: Erwin Araos

In what has become an annual tradition, turf will be replaced at Soldier Field in the middle of a Bears regular season. This seems to happen every time the Bears lose a game in so-called “Bear weather;” any connections to the Bears’ loss to Houston Sunday night is coincidental.

Soldier Field general manager Tim LeFevour told the Tribune the middle 40 yards of the playing turf—mainly where the linemen set up—will be removed Thursday and replaced with new sod Friday. Bears kicker Robbie Gould and general manager Phil Emery complained after the loss about the loose sod and Soldier Field’s decision to not cover the field with a tarp before the game. Two inches of rain fell during the game and, although the Bears call Soldier Field home, upkeep of the field falls to the Chicago Park District, who at this point may need some basic horticultural training given all the problems they've had with the turf there over the years.

The turf was previously replaced prior to the Notre Dame-Miami game and was expected to hold up until playoff time (assuming the Bears qualify). The Soldier Field grounds crew has had to make quick patch repairs to the field over the years and in August 2011 canceled Bears Family night because of the condition of the field. Soldier Field may be the greenest stadium in the NFL, but their groundskeepers are apparently trained by Carl Spackler. We’ve asked if it would be so hard to get tips on maintaining the field from Roger Bossard before, but we doubt it would help.

The condition of the field has also led to renewed calls to replace the natural grass with a synthetic playing surface; a request worth investigating given LeFevour’s teams constant problems to maintain grass. But what would that do to Soldier Field’s status as one of the greenest stadium in the NFL?