The San Francisco 49ers host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and one of the big stories unfortunately will be how the grass holds up at Levi's Stadium. The team has dealt with issues of the field remaining in solid condition, and it will be back in the spotlight on Sunday following some replacement turf put in earlier this week.
The Cowboys are aware of the problems, and are planning on a walkthrough as soon as they arrive in the Bay Area. Jason Garrett addressed the issue on Thursday:
"We're going to go up there, and we're going to go over to the stadium once we get there, before we go over to the hotel, and have a little bit of a walk-through, and we'll take a peek at it," Garrett said. "But it sounds like it has been an issue, and they're trying to address it as best they can. We're going to play a game on Sunday afternoon, so we've got to figure it out. Hopefully they've taken care of their end of it."
The 49ers had planned on practicing at Levi's Stadium eight times during the first two weeks of training camp, but issues with the grass halted that. The team has had quite a few events this offseason, including a high school all star game prior to their first public practice in the stadium. There were serious issues with players slipping, and so the 49ers moved most of their stadium practices back to the main practice facility.
The stadium was host to a pair of Taylor Swift concerts last weekend, and the field was subsequently replaced on Wednesday. There is a Luke Bryan concert next week, on August 29, which will be followed by the 49ers preseason finale at Levi's Stadium on September 3. The team then hosts the Minnesota Vikings two weeks later in the season opening Monday Night Football double-header.
Garrett did acknowledge that Candlestick Park was problematic back in its day. While that is the case, I don't recall as much hubbub over the grass. I imagine a lot of that has to do with the $1.3 billion cost for Levi's Stadium. It'd be nice if when that kind of money is invested in a stadium, the actual playing surface work fairly well, too.