The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday that Sunday's open practice at Levi's Stadium has been cancelled and moved into the team's practice facility. The open practice will not be re-scheduled, so fans who won tickets to that event are SOL. Fortunately they did not have to pay for tickets, but it is still an annoyance to have this happen.
The team had an open practice on Wednesday for season ticket holders, which means there were all sorts of pictures and video from the session. Mike Davis slipped on the turf and got up limping. All indications are he is fine, but this is obviously not a good thing. Over the past few hours, a couple people tweeted along video from the practice showing the turf issues. The video above comes courtesy of Watosh414. At the 34 second mark you see Davis go down and grass come up in chunks.
The first video below shows a different angle on Davis's fall, and the second video shows Carlos Hyde slipping on turf as well. In the latter video you can see a player at the end pushing the divot back into the ground.
@NinersNation here's the Mike Davis slip pic.twitter.com/GLlGsI2tVW— Chris Madrid (@CHRIS_MADRID) August 7, 2015
@NinersNation yeah the field at Levi's is horrible #slipfest pic.twitter.com/YOjgfV8vlT— Chris Madrid (@CHRIS_MADRID) August 7, 2015
Some folks have complained about the constant discussion about this topic. They know a problem exists so it is time to move on. However, the team needs to be hammered on this. It is embarrassing that they cannot get this resolved, after it was clearly an issue last year. I don't believe anybody got hurt last year, but the slips by Davis and Hyde show that it is only a matter of time before somebody suffers a nasty injury.
This is completely unacceptable, and as long as it continues, I'll keep bringing it up. The team's VP of stadium operations said the organization is confident "our turf management program will provide a playing surface that meets the team's standards, as we enter the 2015 NFL season."
The stadium is hosting two Taylor Swift concerts next week on August 14 and 15, and then hosting a Luke Bryan concert on August 29. The field will be replaced after the Swift concerts in time for the team's preseason home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. It will reportedly be replaced again after the Bryan concert, in advance of the team's preseason finale against the San Diego Chargers.
The team then opens their regular season at home against the Minnesota Vikings on September 14. That is followed on September 18 by the Friday Night Lights high school football triple-header. The 49ers return to the field October 4, and I am guessing the field will be replaced in advance of that game as well. We'll see how the surface holds up once the regular season gets here.....