Originally Posted by KingXerxes
You learn something new every day I guess.
It's natural grass with synthetic fibers woven into the sod. Not sure how you weave synthetic fibers into grass - but I'll take Wikipedia for its word.
OK - I'll take grass with synthetic fibers for Soldier Field then.
Basically they shoot the synthetic fibers into the ground under the sod, the idea being as the sod grows, the roots attach to the fibers and "anchors them."
The technology is used a lot in Europe but hasn't caught on as much in America, only 3 stadiums in the USA use this method that I know of (all NFL): Green Bay, Philadelphia, and Denver.
I'm guessing Soldier Field's turf problems are more to do with the excessive use the stadium gets (does Lambeau get used for anything other than Packers games? Can't imagine there's anything else to draw 80,000 people to Bumble****, Wisconsin) and the angle of sunlight... I don't recall Soldier Field's playing surface ever having problems before the renovation to the stadium, which drastically heightened the structures around the field (and therefore, cut into the amount of natural light reaching it). I'm guessing the park district probably has a horticulturist on staff who has probably told them that reinforced turf would still struggle to take root at Soldier Field and you'd end up paying more to re-sod and re-reinforce the field.
Probably the only real alternative is the FieldTurf ****, which is still very expensive to maintain at NFL standards and, as far as I know, has not shown to be much safer than standard artificial turf. I have no problem with the Bears preferring to stick with safer natural grass, even at the expense of a few style points on TV. The Steelers have won 2 Super Bowls since they opened Heinz Field, whose natural grass surface generally regarded as the worst in the league. As long as they're not handing out points for field condition, it's not a big deal to me.