The grass at Levi’s Stadium has been terrible all season long, and during the first half of the Super Bowl numerous players on both the Panthers and Broncos were seen slipping and adjusting their cleats because of the stadium’s poor conditions.
The Broncos were reportedly complaining about slipping during warm-ups before the start of the game. During the first half, Panthers’ tight end Greg Olson switched cleats because of the unruly grass, and later on Peyton Manning slipped on a play that was ultimately ruled an incomplete pass.
Here’s the play. Note how Manning slips completely on his own:
According to CBS’s sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson, nobody is happy with the conditions:
Panthers having problems with footing on Levi’s Stadium field and four have switched cleats, per CBS. Manning slipped, too
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) February 8, 2016
On January 11, the AP reported that the grounds crew had replaced the field entirely from artificial turf to natural turf, which they do before every Super Bowl.
“We’re kind of starting anew here with what we’re doing,” NFL field director Ed Mangan said at the time. “We do this on each one of the natural fields. We’ll strip it completely. The field has done its job all season for them and it’s done well, but for the Super Bowl we always put in a new field.”
“Very smooth,” Mangan added. “The 49ers have been great, the complex has been great and everything so far is on schedule. We’re kind of pushing forward. … You could play on it today once we get it down, that’s how strong it is.”
Large chunks of stray grass can be seen all over the field: