Soldier Field grass makes the grade

For all of the controversy that surrounded the Soldier Field turf – consider new Mayor Rahm Emanuel let it be known he wanted the situation resolved quickly – the grass held up well Saturday night.

The Chicago Bears opened the preseason against the Buffalo Bills and while some slight seams were visible in the playing surface that was laid down last month following a U2 concert, the field was safe and even. The Bears have taken considerable heat for the playing surface over the last few years, with criticism ramping up in 2010 when star players came out and ripped the shoddy turf.

Fans have clamored for FieldTurf to be installed, but the Bears control what surface they play on even though the Chicago Park District foots the bill and is in charge of maintaining the facility. The Bears have played in the remodeled Soldier Field since 2003 and for all the groaning about the surface, no serious injury has ever been attributed to the surface. Also, many players prefer to play on natural grass, at least a well-maintained grass surface.

The Bears were forced to cancel a practice scheduled for Soldier Field on Aug. 5 because the playing surface was deemed unsafe.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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