The San Francisco 49ers are displeased with the UNLV practice facility they have been given ahead of Super Bowl LVIII. Reports say that the problem is the soft playing surface. The Niners’ Super Bowl opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs, won’t have that problem as they will be practising at the training facility of the Las Vegas Raiders, where no similar issues have been reported.
The Playing Field Doesn’t Meet the Minimum Standards, According to Reports
The NFL started laying the field turf last week, which is a problem in itself, as in previous years, practice fields used by teams participating in the Super Bowl have to be ready and inspected by December. However, the NFL left it late this season, and sources have reported widespread discontent in San Francisco’s camp.
The league sanctioned that sod field be put on top of field turf to achieve optimal hardness of the field but reports say that the 49ers think the field is far too soft. The average score of hardness for NFL fields is 78 and there are no fields under 70. However, the field at UNLV is considered to be in the 50-60 range. Sources have told ESPN that the practice field didn’t meet the minimum standards.
The NFL Says the Surface is “Very Playable”
The NFL thinks otherwise, though. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that 23 experts have examined the field and the union also came to inspect the playing surface, and they all concurred that it was “a very playable surface.”Goodell recognized that the field was softer than what the 49ers were used to, but that those things happened and the practice surface was well within the standards.
The NFL is in charge of inspecting all playing surfaces and is always accompanied by representatives from the NFL Players Association when making the evaluation. Both organizations checked the 49ers and Chiefs’ practice fields and confirmed players could use the playing surfaces ahead of the big game.
Interestingly, the Super Bowl playing field was in the focus last year when the Chiefs played the Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, Arizona. Players found it hard to stay on their feet due to the slick track. Many said the slippery field impacted the quality of the game too. The 49ers will be hoping that their preparations for the Super Bowl are not affected by a similar issue.