San Francisco, California – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan are confident that the practice field at UNLV will sufficiently prepare the 49ers for the Super Bowl. However, the NFL Players Association disagrees, stating that the field does not meet the standards that players deserve.
NFLPA Executive Director Lloyd Howell expressed that the UNLV practice field “really isn’t up to snuff for what our players deserve.” He emphasized the NFL’s oversight in allowing this issue to arise, suggesting that it should never have been a concern in the first place.
The union’s president, J.C. Tretter, clarified that while there may not be a direct injury risk associated with the field, it falls short of the quality that NFL players should have. Tretter emphasized the need to elevate the standard of playing surfaces to ensure high quality for all players.
Howell noted that the issue of playing surfaces is a top priority for the players, with a preference for high-quality grass fields. Citing an NFLPA survey, he stated that 92 percent of players prefer playing on high-quality grass, while just 2 percent prefer synthetic turf.
In addition, Howell highlighted the lower injury rate associated with grass fields and advocated for investing resources to ensure that every NFL game is played on high-quality grass. He pointed out that NFL stadiums will be used for the 2026 World Cup, where grass fields will be installed on top of the NFL’s synthetic turf fields.
The NFLPA’s stance reflects the players’ insistence on prioritizing their well-being and the quality of playing surfaces within the league. The ongoing debate underscores the importance of providing optimal conditions for NFL players as they compete at the highest level.