NFLPA calls out Soldier Field's poor playing surface: 'NFL can and should do better'

By , 670 The Score

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- NFL Players Association president JC Tretter called out Soldier Field's poor playing surface Saturday during the Bears-Chiefs preseason game and demanded the league take action to improve the field's substandard quality.

Soldier Field's grass playing surface, which has been notoriously poor in recent years, was noticeably torn up and patchy as the Bears hosted their lone preseason game. Saturday marked eight days since Soldier Field hosted an Elton John concert.

The Bears hosted a practice at Soldier Field on Tuesday, when the playing surface was especially poor. It appeared the conditions hadn't improved since.

"The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards," Tretter said in a tweet. "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."

Prominent NFL agent David Canter, who represents three players on the Bears' 90-man roster, expressed his belief that the game shouldn't have taken place Saturday at Soldier Field.

"Game should be postponed," Canter tweeted. "Player safety should he tantamount to everything. We know it’s a pipe dream but this isn’t safe."

Canter, who works with the GSE Worldwide agency, represents Bears safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, safety Dane Cruikshank and defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga.

After the Bears held practice at Soldier Field earlier this week, kicker Cairo Santos shared the story of how he searched for rundown parks in Florida during his offseason training regimen to replicate the conditions at Soldier Field.

"I've seen better," Santos said. "It's just what we have to deal with. Less of a problem you make it in your mind it just kind of helps you overcome it and just go."

Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn agreed with Santos.

"If he's just realizing that, I mean, I think it's a little late," Quinn said. "That's just part of Soldier Field."

Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District, with the Bears leasing their home stadium.

The Bears last September signed a $197-million agreement to purchase the 326-acre property at Arlington Park, which was previously occupied by Arlington International Racecourse. The organization is continuing to explore the construction of a new stadium on the property.

In July, the city of Chicago presented proposals to renovate Soldier Field and the surrounding property, including a concept that would construct a roof over the existing stadium. The Bears weren't swayed by the idea.

“The only potential project the Chicago Bears are exploring for a new stadium development is Arlington Park," the Bears said in a responding statement. "As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract. We have informed the City of Chicago that we intend to honor our contractual commitments as we continue our due diligence and predevelopment activities on the Arlington Heights property."

The Bears open their regular season on Sept. 11, when they host the 49ers at Soldier Field.

Soldier Field is set to hold three concerts and a Chicago Fire soccer game in the time leading up to the Bears' first regular-season game.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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