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Park District Wants New Kind Of Sod For Soldier Field

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The tarp is removed from Soldier Field prior to Saturday's game against the Bills. (Photo by Adam Hoge/CBSChicago.com)

The tarp is removed from Soldier Field prior to Saturday’s game against the Bills. (Photo by Adam Hoge/CBSChicago.com)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The turf at Soldier Field is getting two thumbs up from the head of the Chicago Park District days after the Bears’ first pre-season game.

As WBBM Newrsadio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, it’s a 180-degrees difference from the field’s condition a week before for a Bears’ practice.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

“The field was great. It showed up Saturday night. That field looked dynamite,” said interim Chicago Park District Supt. Michael Kelly.

Kelly says the park system will do all it can to make sure the Soldier Field surf is as good as it can be throughout the season.

He is considering switching to a more sand-based sod, as is seen on the East Coast. But delivering it from the East Coast would be too expensive.

“I’m hoping, because of the cost, I’m actually hoping that we can bring the technology and the farming technique here to Illinois,” Kelly said. “It may take us a few years, but I think if we approach some of the sod producers, we can change the way a little bit – a little less clay, a little more sand.”

On Aug. 5, the Bears canceled their “Family Fest” practice at Soldier Field, and blamed the condition of the grass at the stadium.

Tim LeFevour, Soldier Field general manager, said the grass at Soldier Field should have been watered more to offset recent heat waves. Gaps could be seen in the grass.

The Park District said it would take financial responsibility for the situation, and Bears Chairman George McCaskey said last week that that the team would take a more active role in the maintenance of Soldier Field’s turf.

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