February 22, 2024

49ers mulling options regarding their ‘spongy’ Super Bowl practice field

The San Francisco 49ers haven’t even been in Las Vegas for 24 hours and they already have an issue with the field they’ve been assigned to practice on ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.

According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the team has taken issue with the condition of the field at UNLV, which was reportedly made worse by the NFL after the league laid down natural grass on top of UNLV’s artificial turf, creating a sponge-like playing surface.

“There already have been complaints that there are seams in the practice field, that it feels like they’re walking around on a sponge,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Monday. “I can tell you, the Niners are not happy with the practice conditions of that field that the league is in charge of maintaining. They feel like it’s a disadvantage.”

Jones stated that the 49ers’ concerns were not health and safety related but more of an issue of the team’s personal preference. 

However, Schefter indicated that the score issued to the condition of the Las Vegas Raiders practice field where the Kansas City Chiefs are practicing this week is in the 80s (the average is in the 70s) while San Francisco believes its field score is in the 50s.

There are three courses of action the 49ers can take. They can deal with the hand they were dealt and practice on the field as is, they can replace the NFL’s sod with a firmer one of their choosing or they can petition the NFL to split time with the Chiefs at the Raiders practice facility.