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23 experts deem 49ers’ Super Bowl practice turf ‘playable’ amid safety concerns

Kyle Shanahan
Kyle Shanahan speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 5, 2024. | Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers will practice for the Super Bowl at University of Nevada Las Vegas’ campus as scheduled, despite having initial worries about the condition of the field.

The Niners had expressed concern to the league that the field on UNLV’s campus is too soft, even though NFL inspectors cleared it for safety. Sod was recently placed over the turf field on UNLV’s campus for the 49ers to use this week.

Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters at media night Monday in Las Vegas that the field had been improving every day since the team initially looked at it last week. The 49ers held a walkthrough on the field Monday and will practice there starting Wednesday as scheduled.

“We’re not worried about it at all,” Shanahan said. “It is what it is. We’re here, and we won’t change anything.”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier in the day that league and independent inspectors found the practice field safe to use during Super Bowl week.

“We’ve had 23 experts out there. We had the union out there. All of them think it’s a very playable surface,” Goodell said at his Super Bowl news conference on Monday. “It’s softer than what they practiced on, but that happens. It’s well within all of our testing standards. It’s something we think all of our experts, as well as neutral field inspectors, have all said unanimously that it’s a playable field.”

The Kansas City Chiefs, as the designated home team for the game, get to practice at the Las Vegas Raiders facility in nearby Henderson.