LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Under the watch of their new regime, the Bears hope to be a faster team. Now, their playing surface at home will help them meet that goal.
On Labor Day Monday, the Kentucky bluegrass playing surface at Soldier Field was ripped out and replaced by Bermuda grass. It marks the first time the stadium has featured a Bermuda playing surface, a change that was guided by the Bears’ new regime. The Bears lease Soldier Field from the Chicago Park District.
"We think it's going to be a fast surface,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “Which lends to help us out ... We want a fast team."
Eberflus indicated Wednesday that he and the Bears provided input on the change in the playing surface at Soldier Field, though he declined to offer further details. The project was conducted by Carolina Green Athletic Field Construction, which has also replaced the playing surfaces in the home stadiums of the Ravens, Eagles and Commanders.
The replacement of the playing surface at Soldier Field came several weeks after the Bears’ lone preseason home game on Aug. 13, when the patchy grass and turf conditions there drew criticism from the NFL Players Association for being potentially dangerous. NFLPA president JC Tretter called for the league to “re-evaluate what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on” after he saw photos of the Soldier Field surface.
The Bermuda grass was installed two days after Soldier Field hosted Rammstein, a German rock band. The stadium also played host to the Chicago Fire soccer team as well as concerts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bad Bunny since the last time the Bears played there.
The Bears host the 49ers in their season opener Sunday, with kickoff set for noon CT from Soldier Field.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.
Listen live to 670 The Score via:
Audacy App | Online Stream | Smart Speaker