Lambeau Ranks Fifth in Field Survey

The NFL Players Association asks players to rank the league's playing surfaces every two years.

In the NFL Players Association's biennial survey of more than 1,600 players, Lambeau Field was ranked the fifth-best grass playing surface.

There are 18 natural-grass playing surfaces in the league. Lambeau Field trailed Arizona, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Carolina, all of which have one thing in common: Those stadiums are in southern climates. The Packers' ranking was well ahead of the northern-climate homes of the Broncos (ninth), Chiefs (13th), Eagles (14th), Steelers (15th), Browns (16th) and Bears (17th).

The full list, from first to worst: Arizona, Tampa Bay, San Diego, Carolina, Green Bay, Miami, Houston, Jacksonville, Denver, Tennessee, Washington, San Francisco, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago and Oakland.

Conversely, the players also were asked the pick the worst grass surface. Lambeau was voted the seventh-worst, with Pittsburgh "topping" the list, followed by Oakland and Chicago. Arizona received the fewest votes for worst grass surface, followed by Denver and Washington.

Among the suggested improvements, according to the NFLPA release, was requiring cold-weather stadiums to switch to artificial turf and having cold-weather teams play on the road late in the season.

Historically, the Packers finished seventh of 18 grass fields in 2008 and 10th of 19 in 2006. Before that, the 32 teams were ranked all together rather than a grass/turf breakdown. Green Bay finished 17th in 2004, 15th in 2002, 10th in 2000, 10th in 1998, 10th in 1996 and eighth in 1994.

Packers players overwhelmingly voted Chicago's Soldier Field the worst grass surface, with 41 of the 71 votes. One player selected Lambeau Field the worst.

Among the 12 artificial-surface fields, Indianapolis topped the charts, followed by the Jets/Giants and the Saints. Detroit finished eighth and Minnesota 11th.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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