(WSCR) Bears Chairman George McCaskey apologized to fans Monday for the cancellation of Friday’s Family Fest and said the team will take a more active role in the maintenance of the grass at Soldier Field.
“It was difficult and we feel terrible for the fans that made the effort to be there that fought through the traffic, that arranged their day, their travel schedules, the heat, and everything else to be there,” McCaskey said on The Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score.
“We made the difficult decision that the practice element of Family Fest, of course, the most important thing, had to be canceled. But we were grateful for the people that stayed around, the tickets were refunded, the parking was refunded … but we know people were there to see the practice and we’re terribly disappointed that there was no practice and we apologize to them for that.”
LISTEN: George McCaskey on The Mully and Hanley Show
After the latest turf problems at Soldier Field, more momentum has picked up among fans and the media about installing Field Turf, but McCaskey said the team remains committed to the natural grass surface.
“The Park District defers to us on what type of surface and this is something that we look at constantly on an annual basis,” he said. “Ted Phillips, our president and CEO, had some people from the Park District in his office at Halas Hall just a few months ago and he explained to them that at this time, the studies indicate and our medical staff recommends that we stay with a natural grass surface. Now, a natural grass surface has to be properly maintained and we are going to take a more active role in the maintenance of the grass surface at Soldier Field.”
That process has already begun as McCaskey said he was at Soldier Field Sunday and saw Bears groundskeeper Ken Mrock working with Solider Field groundskeeper John Nolan. Mrock is also in charge of the field at Halas Hall, but McCaskey said there will be a “collaborative effort” between the two to ensure the playing conditions at Soldier Field improve.
The Chairman added that both Mrock and Nolan are confident the field will be ready to go in time for Saturday’s preseason game between the Bears and Buffalo Bills.