Soldier Field’s detractors grow larger.
The playing surface at the Bears’ home stadium drew ample criticism during the team’s 19-14 preseason win over the Chiefs on Saturday. Long-chastised as one of the worst in the NFL, the field was filled with obvious divots and patches of missing grass. The shocking visual prompted many to question the stadium’s standards.
NFL Players Association president JC Tretter joined in on the objections, calling on the NFL to properly protect its players.
“The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards,” Tretter tweeted. “We clearly need to re-evaluate what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on. We need new testing metrics looking at the performance and safety of every field. The NFL can and should do better.”
The oldest stadium in the league, Soldier Field hosted an Elton John concert the week prior that prompted the Chicago Fire to move an upcoming game from the venue out of fear of field quality.
Last week, Bears kicker Cairo Santos revealed that he seeks out and trains on tattered and low-quality fields in the offseason to properly replicate the Solider Field conditions.
“I was going to a turf field at a high school, which was perfect,” Santos told reporters. “It was almost like, ‘OK, I’m getting too comfortable.’ So in my neighborhood, there’s a soccer field and the grass is a Bermuda grass. It’s real long. I was like, ‘OK. This is more like it.’”