SANTA CLARA -- The turf problems at Levi's Stadium have now claimed a bigger victim than a 49ers practice session: Next week's high school doubleheader featuring De La Salle and Wilcox has been canceled.

But the 49ers insist that their exhibition game Sunday against San Diego will go on as planned.

The team re-sodded the field Friday after removing the original $1.4 million playing surface Thursday, a day after coach Jim Harbaugh had pulled his players off the field when some of them slipped on the chewed up turf during practice. The new sod might be temporary.

"After Sunday's game, you'll probably see us pull up the turf, make modifications and re-lay down the turf," said Al Guido, the 49ers' chief operating officer. "Whether that's the current turf or new turf hasn't been decided."

The soccer game Sept. 6 between Mexico and Chile is still scheduled to be played at the 49ers' new home.

Officials still do not know why the original sod planted in April failed after the team's first exhibition game against Denver last Sunday. Experts are examining soil samples, Guido said.

The new sod arrived at Levi's Stadium at 4 a.m. Friday and is a thicker cut than the original Bandera Bermuda surface.

The high school doubleheader is the turf's first casualty. But the 49ers responded quickly to extinguish a potential public-relations headache, scheduling two doubleheaders in October that will include the four teams that were to open their seasons at Levi's on Aug. 29.


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De La Salle, which was to play Jesuit of Carmichael, will now meet James Logan of Union City on Oct. 11. Wilcox, which was to play Manteca, will face crosstown rival Santa Clara on Oct. 10. Jesuit will play Elk Grove in the second game Oct. 10 and Manteca will face Oakdale in the first game Oct. 11. Game times have not been announced.

"If we were given a game to choose to play, our first choice would have been Santa Clara on that day," Wilcox athletic director Woody Freitas said.

Harbaugh and some of his players did not seem concerned about potential issues Sunday. The game is the team's final exhibition at the stadium before its regular-season home opener Sept. 14 against the Chicago Bears.

"The action's been taken," Harbaugh said. "We're refitting, regrouping, retooling. The organization, we can count on them to do things at the highest level, and that's what we're in the process of now."

Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, one of the players who slipped Wednesday, said, "Stuff like that happens. They'll get it fixed."

Given the heavy load of events in the stadium's early months, the 49ers planned to re-sod the field at some point during the season, Guido said.

"Obviously not this early," he added. "But once we saw the footing issues, we did not want to play an NFL game on that on Sunday, so we replaced the whole field."

For the high school teams, the disappointment of not getting to play on the big stage next week quickly turned to anticipation for them and four additional schools.

Looking ahead to his team's game against Wilcox, Santa Clara coach Hank Roberts said, "If it's not a city-shutting-down event, I'll be shocked."

James Logan coach George Zuber said he didn't hesitate when presented the opportunity to play national power De La Salle on the 49ers' field.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for our players and our fans and our community, along with the De La Salle community," Zuber said.

Wilcox will still play Manteca next Friday, but now at Wilcox. De La Salle and Jesuit also still planned to play next week but have not finalized a site. ESPN2 was originally scheduled to televise the game at Levi's, and the ultimate venue for De La Salle-Jesuit might be contingent on finding a suitable stadium for the network's broadcast.

"We're playing Jesuit; that's always been our concentration," De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said. "They're kids, so I'm sure there's a little disappointment. But that will dissipate quickly."

According to the 49ers, fans who purchased tickets to next week's doubleheader can receive tickets to both October events or request a refund. Exchanges and refunds can be made through Ticketmaster in the next week, the team said.

Staff writers Glenn Reeves, Stephanie Hammon and Phil Jensen contributed to this report.