Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will be played at the Santa Clara, Calif., home of the San Francisco 49ers, and the playing surface of the stadium hosting the game could be a topic of conversation in the days leading up to it.
The field has had its issues during Niners’ home games. Tucker missed a key field goal attempt during the Ravens’ loss to the 49ers in October when the turf gave way beneath him and his left leg slipped on the kick.
Also in October, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a problem with the Levi’s Stadium field on an awkward slide at the end of the scramble.
The 49ers canceled a scheduled open training-camp practice at the stadium in August due to field conditions.
The 49ers reportedly have re-sodded the grass playing surface repeatedly.
“It wasn’t good,” a player whose team played at Levi’s Stadium this season as a visitor said this week. “It’s been a consistent problem there. I sure hope they’ve done something about it for the Super Bowl.”
The NFL has put down a new playing surface at Levi’s Stadium for Sunday’s game, just as it does for all Super Bowls played on natural grass fields.
“It’s something that we plan on,” Mangan said Monday. “We’re already planning for Houston [which hosts next year’s Super Bowl]. We have a field growing and a backup field growing for Houston. It’s not a reflex. It’s a planned event.”
The turf on which this weekend’s game will be played is approximately 17 months old. The field was stripped, laser-graded and re-sodded last month. Mangan said the process was begun on Jan. 4 and completed the following week. He said he anticipates no problems.
“The 49ers did a great job of working their bugs out,” Mangan said. “I got it after they made their fixes and solved their problems.”