SANTA CLARA –- The 49ers plan to re-sod the surface of Levi’s Stadium seven or eight times before Super Bowl 50 in February.
The 49ers feel confident they figured out their turf issues early in the inaugural season at Levi's Stadium, but they figure to bring in new playing surfaces more than the typical NFL stadium because of the number of big events scheduled for Levi’s Stadium.
“We think we solved that issue even last year,” said Jim Mercurio, the 49ers’ vice president of stadium operations. “Since we made the commitment to rip the base out, we haven’t had any issues with it.”
The composition of the sand base under the playing surfaced created some problems last summer that prompted then-coach Jim Harbaugh to remove his team from the field during a practice session.
Most NFL venues re-sod three or four times a year, according to the 49ers. August will be an especially challenging month for the surface, as a 49ers exhibition game against the Dallas Cowboys will be sandwiched between two Taylor Swift concerts and a Luke Bryan show.
The 49ers figure to have a new field install for their regular-season opener Sept. 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.
The 49ers have already committed to a plot at West Coast Turf in Stevinson to accommodate eight full re-sods through the Super Bowl, which is scheduled for Feb. 7.
A new playing field will likely be installed at least two weeks prior to Super Bowl 50, Mercurio said. It has become normal for natural-grass fields to be entirely resurfaced prior to Super Bowls.
Recently, a 23,000-square-foot artificial surface track on the outer edge of the surface was installed at Levi's Stadium. The surface is removable and can be replaced by sod to accommodate the wider requirements for soccer.
The artificial surface on the outside of the stadium floor helps eliminate the wear and tear on the outer surface and reduces costs and water usage. The installation of the artificial surface will reduce water usage by 20 percent, according to the 49ers.
The 49ers have considered installing artificial surface at Levi’s Stadium, Mercurio said, but they are committed to staying with grass at least through the Super Bowl.