Soldier Field has earned a reputation among players from around the NFL for its supposed less-than-ideal playing surface. As the NFC Championship Game nears, though, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello claims that the field will not present any problems when the Bears and Packers kick off. He tweets:
Game Ops folks say Soldier Field is in good shape. Field is tarped w/ hot blowers under the tarp and heating coils under the field.
The temperature in Chicago is forecasted to dip into the single digits by early Saturday morning, and warm up to only 18 degrees by kickoff. Aiello went into detail regarding the system used at Soldier Field to prevent the ground from freezing:
The heating coils under Soldier Field are 70 yards wide, extending beyond the field border that is 53.33 yards (160 feet) wide.
Field re-sodded Dec 1 w/new turf installed between sidelines. So turf from sidelines out is firm, but not frozen + continues to be heated.
The rich history of the Bears-Packers rivalry and the iconically cold weather associated with the old days of the NFL seems to be at loggerheads with this field-heating technology, doesn't it? Nostalgia, of course, takes a back seat to player safety, and the method by which they're heating the turf is, as the kids say, neat-o.
Follow along with this StoryStream for further updates. And for more on these teams, check out SB Nation's Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron, and our Packers blog, Acme Packing Company.