NFL players union president criticizes Soldier Field conditions: 'they can and should do better', after Chicago Bears preseason game

The president of the NFL Players Association criticized the conditions at Soldier Field on Saturday, and he didn’t exactly get an argument from the Chicago Bears or the Kansas City Chiefs after their preseason game.

Union president JC Tretter tweeted that the field was not up to NFL standards.

“The NFL said this field met minimum testing standards,” he wrote. “Clearly we need to reassess what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on. We need new test metrics that analyze the performance and security of each field. The NFL can and should do better.”

Chicago quarterback Justin Fields said things got worse when the Bears practiced there Tuesday instead of at their suburban home. He also said that he tries to use the conditions to work in his favor.

“I knew what our grass was like,” he said. “So I knew other teams didn’t know what it was like, so I used it to my advantage by running and stuff like that, using the long spikes and stuff like that.”

The conditions didn’t seem to bother Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. The four-time Pro Bowler threw for 60 yards and a touchdown on the Chiefs’ first possession and then called it off.

“I think they had a concert, so there was a few things here and there, but it wasn’t anything crazy, bad (stuff) or anything like that,” he said. “I love playing here at Soldier Field. It is an impressive stadium. You feel the history of that.”

Conditions at Soldier Field have long been a source of frustration for Bears players and coaches, as well as other teams. The lakefront location and harsh weather make maintaining the acreage difficult for the Chicago Park District, which owns the stadium.

The field was particularly hectic after Elton John performed there last weekend. Major League Soccer recently moved the Chicago Fire’s game against New York City FC scheduled for August 21 to SeatGeek Stadium in suburban Bridgeview, Illinois due to conditions caused by “a number of planned events at the venue.”

As for how was the field on Saturday?

“Much better than my high school field looked like,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid joked. “Little bit.”

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