NFL moves game from Mexico due to poor field conditions
The US National Football League said Tuesday that the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams set for next week in Mexico City would be moved to California because of the poor state of the field at Estadio Azteca.
The decision was made based on consultation with the NFLPA players union and the results of an inspection of the field conducted Tuesday, the league said.
Estadio Azteca has hosted a number of concerts in recent weeks and the coach of Liga MX soccer club Cruz Azul raised concerns about the condition of the turf ahead of a match last Saturday.
The 87,000-seat venue was preparing to host Monday Night Football for the second time since the NFL began playing regular-season contests in Mexico.
“We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game,” NFL Executive Vice President Mark Waller said in a statement.
“Until very recently, we had no major concerns. But, the combination of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events at the stadium have resulted in significant damage to the field that presents unnecessary risks to player safety and makes it unsuitable to host an NFL game,” he said.
The Rams and the Chiefs will face off instead at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum .
The loss of the game is expected to cost the Mexico City municipal government roughly $15 million.
A crowd of roughly 77,000 people attended a game last season at the Azteca between the five-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.