San Jose

More Levi's Stadium Turf Concerns After Ravens Kicker Slips During Field Goal Attempt

Field issues at Levi's Stadium are in the spotlight again after a Baltimore Ravens kicker slipped during a field goal attempt during Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was attempting to pull his team within three points of the 49ers on Sunday when he slipped during his kick attempt. The video of the attempt shows a chunk of turf giving way.

Sunday's incident is another divot on a field full of issues.

During the preseason the 49ers were forced to move its open practice off the turf due to "poor field conditions." The team said in May it plans to re-sod the field seven or eight times before playing host to Super Bowl 50 in February.

"There's not enough time to get the grass to root properly and thoroughly to get stability," said Henry Wilksinson, a turf expert who has helped build fields at many Major League Baseball stadiums.

Wilkinson said there is a break-in period of one to two years for new stadiums, but does not think the grass should be replaced often as it is.

"I don't want to say it's a management issue," Wilkinson said. "These are very complicated issues, but I do believe there's a solution."

Wilkinson said thicker sod and finding the right materials to lay the turf can help.

49ers Head Coach Jim Tomsula on Monday was asked about the playing surface and said he was "very satisfied with the field."

Fans who saw the slip said it was a fluke.

"I didn't see a lot of other people slipping and sliding out there," 49ers fan Bui Montague said. "And the 49ers -- what we kicked four field goals yesterday? So our kicker didn't slip."

Others said it is time for a change.

"Either they should go to artificial turf or find some better grass," San Jose-resident Mike Laskowitz said.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the National Football League to see if Sunday's incident raises any concerns for Super Bowl 50. League officials in response said they replace the turf before every Super Bowl.

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