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Levi's Stadium field, site of Super Bowl 50, too shoddy for 49ers' practice

Levi's Stadium field, site of Super Bowl 50, too shoddy for 49ers' practice
A San Francisco 49ers player runs on the torn up field at Levi's Stadium during a training camp practice on Aug. 1. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

The trouble on the field for the San Francisco 49ers has less to do with the team and more to do with what they have to play on. The grass.

The 49ers announced Thursday that a open training camp practice for fans at Levi's Stadium would not go on as planned because the field would not be up to the team's standards.

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"After a thorough inspection earlier today, our grounds crew determined that the field would not be ready by Sunday," Vice President of Stadium Operations Jim Mercurio said in a statement. "Therefore, the recommendation was made to relocate practice."

This isn't the first time the 49ers have had problems with the grass at year-old, $1.3-billion Levi's Stadium.

Jim Harbaugh, now coaching at his alma mater Michigan, cut San Francisco's final public practice at the stadium last year short because the field was in such bad shape and littered with divots that it was causing players to lose their footing.

The issues continued, prompting the field to be replaced several times over the course of the  season and at least twice before it hosted its first regular-season game.

It's going to be replaced at least one time before this season starts and is scheduled for two more replacements before the regular season and one more before Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. It will also be replaced as needed throughout the season.

It's not out of the ordinary for a team to replace a field a few times over the course of the season because of regular wear and tear. However, the rate at which Levi's Stadium has been forced to rework its field has elevated itself to a general concern.

"We remain confident that our turf management program will provide a playing surface that meets the team's standards, as we enter the 2015 NFL season," Mercurio said.

Hopefully it'll be up to the team's standards for the Super Bowl as well, even if the 49ers haven't been using the field for over a month.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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