Brian Urlacher still hot with Soldier Field turf issue
Brian Urlacher has doused the flames from the Chicago Bears’ canceled practice Friday night at Soldier Field with some gasoline.
The club’s star middle linebacker ripped the natural grass playing surface, which was deemed unsafe for the practice that had attracted thousands of fans. The stadium is owned by the Chicago Park District, a group that maintains it is difficult to grow grass in Chicago in the middle of the winter when complaints are lodged regarding the surface late in the season. But in the middle of the summer?
“It's a joke," Urlacher said. "I don't understand (why) they can't have the field ready. It sucks for the fans because I'm sure it was a pain in the butt to get down there with the all traffic and everything. I think coach (Lovie Smith) did the right thing in not letting us practice on that stuff."
The Park District took the blame saying a miscalculation had been made in watering the surface. The Bears open the preseason on Saturday at Soldier Field against the Buffalo Bills and Soldier Field general manager Tim LeFevour pledged the field would be safe and ready.
But Bears players don’t understand why the switch isn’t made to an artificial surface. It’s important to note that in the team’s lease with the Park District, the Bears control the type of surface. So, the team is mandating it continue to play on natural grass. The Park District, which would have to pay to resurface the stadium, would switch to a synthetic surface yesterday. It would be more cost effective for the Park District and allow the stadium to be used for more events creating even more revenue.
“I don't understand why we don't have FieldTurf yet," Urlacher said. "We're a fast team. We play fast on FieldTurf.
“The injury issues (with FieldTurf) aren't as bad as they used to be."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune