The San Francisco 49ers have arrived in Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII, but reports suggest that some team staffers are unhappy with the practice field designated for them at UNLV.
The concerns revolve around the firmness of the natural grass laid over UNLV’s artificial turf.
An advance group from the 49ers, including members of the equipment staff and grounds team, visited Las Vegas last week to assess the facilities … They expressed dissatisfaction with the softness of the grass, prompting the team to explore alternative practice locations.
And gave the #49ers UNLV’s facility, with spongey grass and in poor condition.
WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THAT??
This is where KC is practicing 😳⬇️ pic.twitter.com/8O1d4D0WyJ
— 49ers & NFL News 24/7 (@49ersSportsTalk) February 5, 2024
While reports indicate that the issue is more about preference than health and safety, the current surface at UNLV is said to meet all NFL, NFL Players Association, and independent standards.
The firmness of the field is typically assessed using the “Clegg” test, with NFL fields required to measure at or below 100g.
The natural grass at UNLV reportedly measures around 50g, while the 49ers prefer a firmer surface around 70g.
The 49ers are not happy with the practice field they are being provided with at UNLV, per reports
According to @AdamSchefter:
“There are seams on the field and it feels like they’re walking around on a sponge.”
— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) February 5, 2024
According to reports, the 49ers are presented with three options regarding the practice field: a) proceed with their scheduled practices at UNLV, b) introduce new, firmer sod to the existing field, or c) negotiate with the NFL to use the Las Vegas Raiders practice facility, where the Kansas City Chiefs are currently located.
Discussions have reportedly taken place regarding adjusting the 49ers schedule to allow for practices at the Raiders facility during times when the Chiefs are not present.
However, the expectation is that the Niners will likely remain at UNLV.
Complaining about the practice field, about holding 4 years ago, complained about nfc championship game all year, pretended they have been underdogs all playoffs…. Truly the most unlikable franchise
— Hire mike vrabel (@brian_jenks) February 5, 2024
In the Super Bowl setup, the AFC champion is considered the home team for the year, giving them access to the local NFL team’s facilities. The away team typically practices at nearby college facilities.
The debate over playing surfaces has been a longstanding issue in the NFL, with players often expressing discomfort on artificial turf.
Last year, both the Chiefs and Eagles faced challenges with the field conditions during Super Bowl LVII, leading to concerns about player safety.
Allegiant Stadium, this year’s Super Bowl venue, has a tray system similar to Arizona’s last year.
The NFL has addressed concerns, with NFL EVP Peter O’Reilly stating: “We have brought in a brand-new natural grass surface that is currently installed in the field tray outside Allegiant Stadium.”
The league assures that the field is undergoing standard testing procedures to ensure optimal conditions for Sunday.
The adjustments and core maintenance program are in place to address any concerns raised by the players and teams participating in the championship game.
SUPER BOWL DRAMA!
Do we have another sod-gate incident on our hands for the Super Bowl?
— Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior) February 5, 2024
What are your thoughts on the 49ers complaints?
Do you think UNLV’s field condition is a major issue? … Or should San Francisco just suck it up and stay focused?
As far as the actual game, who do you think is going to win – Chiefs or Niners???