Bears-49ers weather update: Heavy rain in Chicago leaves Soldier Field soaked ahead of kickoff – Sporting News

  • September 12, 2022

The playing conditions at Soldier Field are, once again, less than exemplary ahead of the Bears’ Week 1 game vs. the 49ers.
Chicago has dealt with heavy rain ahead of the season-opening game, and the new turf at Soldier Field is taking the brunt of it. Several videos taken just hours before the 1 p.m. ET kickoff show several puddles and standing water on the field.
One particular video from ESPN’s Michelle Steele shows water standing at least a couple inches:
New turf at Soldier Field getting a good soaking today pic.twitter.com/4DL4eZziPr
MORE: NFL Week 1 Weather Updates: Rain, wind, heat in forecast could affect fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions
An overhead view of the field from the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane doesn’t paint a much better picture, either:
Those puddles don’t look great… pic.twitter.com/xvfXia5ACg
The sideline at Soldier Field 😬 pic.twitter.com/7ygbyKYzE1
Per Kane, this is the first year Chicago is playing on the new sod. According to a release she got from its installer, Carolina Green, the sod is a mix of Bermuda grass with a mixture of sand and plastic that help the root system take a stronger hold and help water drain vertically.
The company described the product as a “flooring system, not typical ‘sod.'”
The Bears’ sod company sent me this marketing info this week, which explains why they believe it will be ready to play on so quickly. We will see how it does in this crazy rain though. pic.twitter.com/VGLrZ8PQnc
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This isn’t the first time the conditions at Soldier Field have become a talking point. Before his retirement, NFLPA president JC Tretter ripped the conditions at Soldier Field. The turf had several divots in its surface during the preseason Week 1 game between Chicago and the Chiefs.
“The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards,” Tretter said. “We clearly need to re-evaluate what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on. We need new testing metrics looking at the performance and safety of every field. The NFL can and should do better.”
Longtime NFL receiver Torrey Smith chimed in with his thoughts on the facility after seeing video of pregame warmups Sunday. 
Worst field in the NFL! https://t.co/nxE4AMZrK2
It remains to be seen what kind of surface the Bears will have this season — including their Week 1 game vs. the 49ers.

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