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49ers’ grass is greener at Levi’s Stadium

LEVI’S STADIUM — Brimming with childlike glee, 49ers team President Paraag Marathe beamed in front a deep green sea of freshly-laid sod:

“There’s just something special about a field, even romantic. It’s one of the things that sticks way beyond seats, and suites and lights and scoreboards. That’s the hallowed ground. It was awesome for me to walk over here just now.”

Photos by Trevor Will/SFBay

Photos by Trevor Will/SFBay

Marathe, Levi’s brand President James Curleigh and, the day’s shining star, Levi’s Stadium head groundskeeper Matt Greiner, allowed a small throng of media and VIPs to be the first to trample a sliver of their precious Bandera Bermuda grass.

The 49ers and field consultants West Coast Turf chose the Bandera strain for Santa Clara because of its deep green color, its strength and durability, and its low (50 percent less) water consumption.

Installed by crews last Thursday and Friday the 106,000-square feet was getting a good soaking Tuesday morning from sprinklers.

And, about halfway into the field-side presentation, so did the media.

A dormant sprinkler head sprung to life, strafing the defenseless and groaning press with deep-soaking jets of water.

The exceptionally-polite Greiner — every other word seemed to be “sir” — let slip a wry smile before he told SFBay:

“It’s the culmination of a lot of work, a lot of people putting in a lot of work over the last five or six months. … The next few weeks are critical we need to establish a root mass and get this thing to dive into the ground so we can start working it.”

When asked where he would be sitting for 49ers home games, Marathe told SFBay:

“There’s really not a bad view anywhere in the house. Trent [Baalke] and I will be sitting up at the very highest point of the stadium. I was up there last week and it’s a great view.”

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