The problems have persisted into this season. After his Seahawks lost to the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Dec. 16, Seattle Coach Pete Carroll called the field conditions “really lousy.”
“It wasn’t great,” Carroll told reporters. “There were guys slipping all over the place and you could see guys in pass protection, you could see guys on the field goal protection sticking their cleats in the ground and it was moving.”
But the College Football Playoff organizers insist that the field for Monday night’s game will hold up, even though the Bay Area has seen some rain in recent days. For one, they’re keeping it under a tarp when it rains. For another, it’s an entirely new field, one installed almost immediately after the Redbox Bowl ended at Levi’s Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
“That was always the plan,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’ve put in a new field every time we’ve been outdoors. We’re confident about the field.”
The new field, brought in on 22 trailer trucks from a farm about 30 minutes away from the stadium, was provided by a company called West Coast Turf, which has supplied the grass for a number of stadiums. Danielle Scardino, the company’s marketing director, is highly confident that it will provide the proper footing, even if it’s a little damp.
“The grass is two inches deep, and it weighs 24 pounds a square foot,” she told the Desert Sun. “The grass doesn’t have time to take root, but it’s heavy enough to where it’s not going to move.”
Scardino added that the turf was grown on plastic, which produces a denser field and one that’s easier to install than turf that has to be cut out of the ground.
The players themselves seemed unconcerned.
“It’s not going to change anything,” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said, per the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re still going to play how we play.”
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