Steelers aim to dry out Heinz Field sod

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The sod installed over the weekend that combined with a heavy rain Monday to turn Heinz Field into a quagmire will remain in place the rest of the season.

Steelers President Art Rooney II told the Post-Gazette today that workers will do everything they can to try to dry out the grass for their next game Sunday night against Cincinnati.

"We're going to continue to try to dry it out, which today's weather helps a lot," Rooney said, the sun shining in the background.

He said there's little rain forecast this week, other than possibly on Thursday, and "from that standpoint, weather conditions are in our favor."

"We'll try to dry it out. They'll roll it, aerate it, do all the things they need to do to get it in good shape for Sunday. I think by Sunday it will be in good shape.

"I think it would have been in great shape frankly Monday if it weren't for really having rain of, from what I understand, near record levels."

The NFL has assigned one of its officials to remain in Pittsburgh this week to help the Steelers prepare the field.

"We are working closely with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the grounds crew at Heinz Field to prepare the field for Sunday's game," an NFL spokesman said in a statement today. "Our football operations department will be available to provide any and all necessary assistance as preparations continue for Sunday's game.''

Rooney also issued a statement this afternoon acknowledging the turf problems.

"The field conditions on Monday night were less than satisfactory for playing the Monday Night Football game," the statement said. "We consulted with the NFL prior to laying down new sod and our grounds crew did the best it could under the circumstances.

"Unfortunately, we were faced with about the worst possible weather conditions and we acknowledge that it did have an impact on the playing surface. We will continue to work with the NFL Game Operations people this week as our grounds crew works to improve the conditions of the field in time for Sunday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals."


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