Fiesta Bowl Field Conditions Under Fire During TCU, Michigan Playoff Game As Players Slip, Referee Loses Shoe

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Fiesta Bowl field conditions were extremely questionable as TCU and Michigan battled it out in the College Football Playoff semifinal. But the game was played in a dome…

State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona is an indoor stadium. Its field is grass.

A general view of the football field before the College Football Playoff Semifinal Fiesta Bowl football game between the Michigan Wolverines and the TCU Horned Frogs at State Farm Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

However, the natural playing surface is not kept inside the stadium. The field spends five out of seven days a week in the Grand Canyon State sun, and is rolled in via an automatic system on the day before kickoff.

Except it wasn’t sunny during the week leading up to the Fiesta Bowl. It was rainy.

As a result, the playing surface was especially damp when the Wolverines and Horned Frogs lined up on the ball on Saturday. They were questionable conditions, at best.

There was even some mud— on a field inside of a dome.

Once the game got underway, fans were very quick to pick up on the problems.

Players were slipping left and right, often in crucial moments, but they were not alone. Even the officiating crew was struggling to keep its footing.

At one point during the first half, a referee went to get in position behind the Michigan offense. As he planted his left foot, it slid out under him and took his shoe off.

Field conditions rarely make or break the result of a game— as both teams have to play on the same piece of grass. With that being said, the Playoff shouldn’t have this issue.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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