In the above photo, taken by @eperlin on Instagram, you see what the field at Levi's Stadium looks like this at this very moment. That is not good.
Following complaints from players and coaches after a dangerous practice that saw multiple players come up limping, the 49ers had already ripped up and replaced a few thousand square yards of sod ahead of yesterday's preseason game. Apparently (though no one mentioned this at the time) that was merely a band-aid.
The thicker-cut field installed two days before Sunday's preseason game against the San Diego Chargers was meant as a temporary solution because the sod cannot generate the deep roots needed for long-term use.
Now, team officials are also removing and making undisclosed "tweaks" to part of the sand base below the turf, and are ripping out the entire 2.5-acre playing surface, including the sidelines and the area behind the endzones, which had not previously been replaced.
It's unclear how much the new field will cost, though the original playing surface had a $1.4 million budget. The 49ers said for the first time Monday that the team will pay for the turf replacement, taking pressure off the public Santa Clara Stadium Authority, which funded the bulk of construction.
The stadium has hosted just three events: two Niners preseason games and an Earthquakes match. But there's time to fix it. Chile and Mexico play a friendly on Sept. 6, and the 49ers' home opener will be on Sept. 14, the Sunday night game for Week 2.
Another photo of the field today, and below that, the story on the first sod replacement from last week:
— Mike Rosenberg (@RosenbergMerc) August 25, 2014