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Concerns over 49ers’ practice field conditions yet another chapter in NFL’s turf wars

Players' association wants natural grass installed in all NFL stadiums

February 8, 2024  By Turf & Rec

The San Francisco 49ers’ disdain for their practice field conditions ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl game against the Kansas City Chiefs is just one more chapter in the ongoing dispute among NFL players and teams about what type of playing surface is best.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell brushed off the 49ers’ concerns, saying 23 “experts” suggested the sod overlaying the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ artificial turf surface was satisfactory. The team said the surface was spongy while seams from the sod created footing issues. The president of the NFL players’ association, J.C. Tretter, said a rigid layer of plastic should have been laid between the sod and artificial turf to prevent the soft conditions.

NFLPA executive director Lloyd Howell said the practice field concerns are yet another reason the league must continue to strive for consistent league-wide conditions.

The NFL has 13 fields with natural grass and 17 that have artificial turf. The players’ association wants all teams to have natural grass fields as a means of reducing injuries and ensuring consistency throughout the league.




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