It is the most watched event in the United States every year with over 100 million annual viewers, and is one of the biggest money-making afternoons on the calendar. Typically, the NFL attempts to make the Super Bowl an impeccable product, from the entertainment to the spectacle of the hosting stadium. Things went a bit awry for Super Bowl 2023, and the issues occurred on the literal biggest stage possible.
Sub-Par Field Conditions At Super Bowl Cause Issues
One of the things that we take for granted most often as football fans is the condition of the playing surface. Players should be able to cut, shift, and shuffle their feet freely no matter if the field is turf or natural grass. That was not the case on Sunday, as players from both teams were regularly losing their footing throughout the contest, causing them to slip and fall and take themselves out of certain plays. It was noticeable not only from certain ball carriers, but there was footage of defenders losing their footing off of the edge, and wide receivers stumbling out of their cuts. Kickers had trouble with their planting foot as well.
It shouldn’t have been like this. State Farm Stadium has a state-of-the-art system for the growing of their grass, one which allows the entire field to be wheeled out of the building in order to get the maximum amount of Arizona sunlight possible. This current version of the sod was grown at a local sod farm in Phoenix for the last two years, and the total cost of the Super Bowl field and its upkeep for the year was $800,000.
Eagles Players Had To Change Cleats
Things got so bad that Eagles some players were changing their cleats throughout the game. The ones that they had originally worn had proved to be inadequate for the field’s adverse conditions, had it was reported at halftime that 6 different players had chosen to make changes. That number likely increased in the second half as the conditions continued throughout the game.
Next year’s Super Bowl will be played again in the Southwest, this time in Las Vegas, as the Raiders are playing host to 2024’s big game. Allegiant Stadium has a very similar growing process for its field, with the turf being wheeled out into the sun every day. Hopefully, the grounds crew in Nevada will be able to put together a better product than those in Arizona.