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Steelers again replacing Heinz Field turf

PITTSBURGH (Feb. 17, 2005) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are replacing the much-maligned turf at Heinz Field -- again.

The work, however, actually began before the NFL Players Association released a player survey rating it among the five worst playing surfaces earlier this month. In that survey, Steelers players rated their own playing surface as the worst in the league.

Two years ago, the Steelers installed DD GrassMaster -- a hybrid surface that combines real sod with synthetic fibers -- after complaints that the footing was poor on the sand-based grass surface in place when the field opened in 2001.

Earlier this month, workers again scraped off the surface -- about a half-inch of top soil -- but they're not changing turfs, they're again installing a DD GrassMaster surface.

The Steelers are hoping that will help because the Denver Broncos did the same thing at Invesco Field at Mile High, and that field was ranked the eighth-best field in the league by players.

Club president Art Rooney II said the Steelers considered fully synthetic FieldTurf, which the Steelers use on their indoor practice field across town.

"We didn't do any actual survey," Rooney said, "but we talked to some of the players about our field and whether to put in FieldTurf. None of them said they'd rather go to FieldTurf."

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