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Questions about Soldier Field condition overshadows Chicago Bears preseason opener

Vincent Frank

New Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus coached his first game at the famed Soldier Field as the team opened up its preseason slate against the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday afternoon.

For Eberflus and Co., this marks a new era of Bears football following the failed Matt Nagy experiment. But even as Chicago looks to the future, some of the old issues remain. That includes poor playing conditions inside Soldier Field.

This was a major talking about ahead of kickoff on Saturday, leading to one big-time agent opining that the otherwise meaningless game should have been canceled.

“Game should be postponed. Player safety should he tantamount to everything. We know it’s a pipe dream but this isn’t safe,” David Canter tweeted. This was in reaction to photos of the field in Chicago and just how poor the conditions were.

It must be noted that Canter and his firm represent big-name NFL players such as Xavien Howard, DeMarcus Lawrence, Asante Samuel Jr., Jaylen Waddle and Ahmad Gardner. If he is speaking out, we should listen.

Related: Soldier Field and ranking NFL stadiums

Soldier Field conditions are a continued issue

soldier field, chicago bears
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

According to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Elton John’s August 5 concert at the venue could have played a role in the conditions Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

The Chicago Fire of MLS also recently announced that they have moved their Aug. 21 match from Soldier Field to SeatGeek Stadium due to poor playing conditions at the NFL stadium. Heck, one current Bears player recently opened up about what’s it’s like to play at one of the oldest stadiums in the league.

“Especially Week 1, our first game of the season — I’ve seen better. It’s just what we have to deal with. The less of a problem you make it in your mind, it helps you overcome it and just go.

“I was going to a turf field at a high school, which was perfect. It was almost like, ‘OK. I’m getting too comfortable.’ So in my neighborhood, there’s a soccer field and the grass is a Bermuda grass. It’s real long. I was like, ‘OK. This is more like it.’ The ball flies different. It’s not super even all the time. It’s important to put yourself in that situation.”

Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos on Soldier Field playing conditions

All of this comes at a time when the Bears are preparing for a potential move from Chicago to the suburb of Arlington Heights. Continued issues at Soldier Field will only lend credence to the idea that relocation should be in the cards.

Chicago will open up the regular season at home September 11 against the San Francisco 49ers. It will be interesting to see the conditions for that game.