49ers' practice field grievances part of NFL players union-league turf war.

Las Vegas— In three days and two news conferences, we learned what will drive the NFL-players union tug-of-war.

How many NFL fields lack it, how many, according to the NFLPA, are poorly maintained, and how long it will take the league to establish playing surface consistency among stadiums. 

This week, after a 2023 Super Bowl with a slick field and the San Francisco 49ers' practice surface at UNLV being too soft, may have been the best time to debate it. The 49ers complained to the league and union, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dismissed them in his Monday state of the league speech.

“We’ve had 23 experts out there,” Goodell said of UNLV. “The union was there. All say it's a playable surface

The NFL Players Association's response Wednesday was far different, with new executive director Lloyd Howell and president JC Tretter criticizing the surface and discussing the union's push for better playing fields. 

Before this week, the league placed sod over UNLV's grass, causing seams and sponginess that worried the 49ers. Tretter said that the NFL neglected to place a stiff plastic covering between the field grass and sod to prevent it from becoming too soft.

Tretter stated, “My understanding is [adding the plastic layer] is not what happened, which is adding to the issue of the softer field.” I don't understand how experts claim plastic is required and it gets overlooked.

Not sure how that doesn't happen. Before his Monday news conference, Roger said, ‘It’s OK since the field is playable.’ Last week, he said we need to boost the level to make both turf and grass surfaces high-quality, but a week later, he said it's OK since it's playable.