SANTA CLARA (KCBS) — Grounds crews for the San Francisco 49ers are installing a new, thicker field at the $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara after the team halted practice there Wednesday, 49ers officials said.
Work on the turf began Thursday and continued Friday as team officials are confident the playing surface will be ready for a pre-season game against the San Diego Chargers this Sunday.
The grass turf that had been installed in April was removed after an undisclosed problem occurred as players were practicing on the Bandera Bermuda grass field inside Levi's and coaches decided to have players move to the team's practice field next to the stadium, the team said.
Bob Lange, a spokesman for the 49ers said replacing sod on a short turnaround is not uncommon in the NFL. According to the 49ers, on Sunday and Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles removed its turf at Lincoln Financial Field following two earlier practice sessions by the Eagles and three outdoor concerts on the field last week.
The Eagles were able to replace the field by Monday night and the team played a nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night without any difficulties, 49ers officials said.
49ers Confident Newly Installed Sod At Levi's Stadium Will Be Ready For Sunday's Game
The new sod being put in place is deeper with more soil, providing a thicker base that takes root better than the previous field and can be ready for football within a day or two, officials said.
Dr. Ali Harivandi, a UC Davis horticulturalist, said there's a good chance the re-sodding will settle quickly. He said the thicker pieces weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
The rolls of sod are being placed on the ground by a machine that compresses the turf so there are no gaps between them and then a roller machine is driven over the field to make the new grass firm on the ground, the team reported.
The 49ers also announced Friday that high school football games originally scheduled for Levi's Stadium on August 29 would be postponed to a two-day event on October 10 and 11 and include four more high school teams in addition to the four originally slated to play.
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