Calgary Stampeders defensive back Ciante Evans (0) and Stampeders linebacker Alex Singleton (49) try and stop Ottawa Redblacks wide receiver Brad Sinopoli (88) during the second half of the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Icy Grey Cup leads to possible field improvements by CFL

The field conditions emerged as one of the main talking points in Calgary’s 27-16 victory over Ottawa

The weather at the Grey Cup seemed ideal for a late November day in Edmonton. You wouldn’t know it by the state of the field at Commonwealth Stadium.

The field conditions emerged as one of the main talking points in Calgary’s 27-16 victory over Ottawa in the CFL’s championship game on Sunday. Traction was challenging at best for players as the artificial turf surface became icy and slick.

On Monday, the CFL said it planned to meet in the off-season with turf manufacturers and stadium operations staff to see if improvements can be made.

“The teams performed well and the game certainly produced a worthy Grey Cup champion,” the league told The Canadian Press in an emailed statement. “But it was obvious the field was slippery. While the teams chose to practise indoors this week, the field was groomed on a regular basis. However, with temperatures fluctuating for days, moisture accumulated near the base of the turf and ultimately froze.

RELATED: Mitchell named MVP as Stampeders dump Redblacks 27-16 to win Grey Cup

“Weather and challenging playing conditions have long been a part of late-season football. But we do plan to sit down with manufacturers and stadium operations staff this off-season to explore what else could possibly be done in the future to improve the playing surface in such conditions.”

The temperature hovered near the freezing mark at kickoff with light winds. However, the playing surface got worse as the mercury dropped.

“It was treacherous,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson. “It was just about like a road right after a snowstorm.”

It didn’t seem to matter what kind of cleats the players used as slipping and sliding became the norm rather than the exception.

“It wasn’t pretty icy, it was very icy,” said Ottawa running back William Powell, who ran for a game-high 94 yards. ”But both teams had to play on it. Hopefully in the future we can make better conditions for the Grey Cup but that’s just how it was today.”

RELATED: Calgary QB earns second CFL most outstanding player award

The 56,000-seat stadium was refitted with new turf ahead of the 2015 Women’s World Cup soccer tournament. The turf has a life cycle of eight to 10 years.

Messages left with the stadium’s building supervisor and the turf maker and installer were not immediately returned.

The 2019 Grey Cup will be played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

———

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read