Bears Cancel Family Night Because Soldier Field Turf is Unsafe


Cancelling Family Night due to poor turf at Soldier Field is an all-time low.

In what can only be called a total and utter embarrassment to the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Bears, Family Fest has been cancelled due to poor field conditions at Soldier Field.   Family Night is a practice at Soldier Field to allow fans to get a closer look at the Bears as they prepare for the regular season.  This is a ticketed event that was supposed to take place on Friday night.

Just as the gates were supposed to open to the public, word started leaking about the coaching staff’s concern over conditions of the turf.  For anyone not in Chicago, Friday was a picture perfect summer day with seasonable temperatures and no rain.  In fact, July was a record setting month for rain and grass all over Chicagoland is as green and lush as it could be.  The last event in Soldier Field was a soccer game between the Chicago Fire and Manchester United on July 22nd.

Keep in mind that the Chicago Bears are just a tenant of Soldier Field, which is run by the Chicago Park District.  What the park district has been doing since July 22nd to not have the field in pristine condition is beyond me.  It is understandable that in December and January a field might be difficult to maintain and keep in good condition.

Earlier this week, new Bears Chairman George McCaskey defended the turf at Soldier Field.

“It’s not a money issue on the turf,” McCaskey said on “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000. “It’s at this point, primarily it’s a safety issue.

“The studies aren’t conclusive, but the studies that we have looked at have shown a higher incidence of lower leg injuries among players on artificial turf. And we want to prolong careers. We want our players to be safe. We want our investment in the players to be protected and the state of artificial turf or an infield surface is such now that we think the safest surface for our players is natural grass.”

If the chairman is citing studies that turf is safer then there is some kind of disconnect with the coaching staff, which pulled the team off the field on Friday night.    This latest stumble is a PR nightmare, turning paying fans away from a practice because of inadequate field conditions on a perfect summer night.  I can’t wait to hear how the Bears spin this one.  Stay tuned.

  • flowermike

    Amateur hour and who is surprised?

    Chicago, recapture some self esteem that the Cubs have robbed the city of.

    Boycott the Bears. Spend much less money for much more and patronize single owner establisments that air the bears games. Money is the fans only weapon against greedy owners who take you for granted.

    Stop buying retro jersey’s that never were. Stop paying to park at the stadium. Gather your family at home, order a pizza and discover a new way to stay together.

    The Mc Caskeys are asleep at the wheel, stop giving them your gas money!

  • flowermike

    Amateur hour and who is surprised?

    Chicago, recapture some self esteem that the Cubs have robbed the city of.

    Boycott the Bears. Spend much less money for much more and patronize single owner establisments that air the bears games. Money is the fans only weapon against greedy owners who take you for granted.

    Stop buying retro jersey’s that never were. Stop paying to park at the stadium. Gather your family at home, order a pizza and discover a new way to stay together.

    The Mc Caskeys are asleep at the wheel, stop giving them your gas money!

  • Obnxs1

    Horrible PR gaff on the part of the CPD and Bears. Boomer and I disagree on what Bears should have done but either way it was just a mess. Glad I wasn’t trying to get downtown on a Friday, while lollapalooza was going on, to go to this only to get this shocker. Had friends that were in traffic for 3 1/2 hours for this.

  • Obnxs1

    Horrible PR gaff on the part of the CPD and Bears. Boomer and I disagree on what Bears should have done but either way it was just a mess. Glad I wasn’t trying to get downtown on a Friday, while lollapalooza was going on, to go to this only to get this shocker. Had friends that were in traffic for 3 1/2 hours for this.

  • KatrinaLeRae

    I was there. The worst part was that we were all standing in line after 5 (the gates were to open at 5) being told by staff that the gates would open soon and they weren’t sure what the problem was, but it wasn’t security related. I had to read about fan fest being canceled from a local news station on my phone. That is no acceptable. I feel like I was lied to while standing in line. They did open the gates and let us in to see Soldier Field and give us free food and non-alcoholic drinks. They also refunded our parking and ticket prices. Both of those gestures were nice, but they were like placing a band-aid on a gaping wound.

  • KatrinaLeRae

    I was there. The worst part was that we were all standing in line after 5 (the gates were to open at 5) being told by staff that the gates would open soon and they weren’t sure what the problem was, but it wasn’t security related. I had to read about fan fest being canceled from a local news station on my phone. That is no acceptable. I feel like I was lied to while standing in line. They did open the gates and let us in to see Soldier Field and give us free food and non-alcoholic drinks. They also refunded our parking and ticket prices. Both of those gestures were nice, but they were like placing a band-aid on a gaping wound.

  • Elliottjrp

    I am extremely disappointed, I was so looking forward to this event, when are they going to get there act together on this field situation, this is a major embarassment for the CPD, we are Chicago and we can’t get our field right. How long will we allow this to go on!!!