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Park District Plans New Grass by Bears Opener

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago Bears Chairman of the Board George McCaskey addresses the turf problems that canceled the Family Fun Night at Soldier Field.

    The Chicago Bears are micromanaging their grass concerns.

    Soldier Field, which is owned by the Chicago Park District, will work with the Chicago Bears to install a new natural grass field using a vendor preferred by the team to get ready for the September 11 home opener. 

    The new field is expected to be installed over Labor Day Weekend, shortly after the Bears’ final preseason game in Chicago against the Cleveland Browns.

    The problem? The "new" field will look alarmingly similar to the old field. That's because they're replacing the natural grass that has been the source of many complaints from the players with new natural grass that is just as likely to be the source of many complaints from the players.

    Issues with the turf became exacerbated when the team was forced to cancel a family night game because of poor conditions.

    In order to combat concerns, officials reached out to acclaimed agrologist and Penn State professor, Dr. Andrew McNitt, who has worked stadium management since March 2011, to oversee the operation and sign off on its readiness.

    McNitt consults with ten other NFL stadiums and teams. He will provide counsel throughout the season.

    Park District officials have also asked Ed Margan, the NFL’s Super Bowl groundskeeper, to offer his expertise on the re-sod taking place before the season.

    What the Bears apparently haven't done, however, is ask the "experts" who play on the field every week.

    Every expert in the world could tell me that there are better computers than my three-year-old MacBook, but guess what? This is the computer I like and am comfortable using. I may not be an expert on computers, but I am an expert on what works best for me.

    It is no different for the players and what works best for them. They have practiced and played on FieldTurf, and they love it. They aren't experts on which playing surface is best, but they are experts on what is best for them.

    Why not listen to their opinion?