The NFL will not play Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City as scheduled.
The game is being moved to Los Angeles because the condition of the playing surface at Azteca Stadium created player-safety concerns.
The Rams, under NFL rules relating to international games, were required to have their home field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum available to host the game if needed.
“We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game," Mark Waller, the NFL’s executive vice president who oversees international play, said in a written statement released by the league. "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. As a result, we have determined that moving the game is the right decision, and one that we needed to announce now in order to allow our teams and fans to make alternate arrangements.”
The NFL said in its announcement that the decision was made in consultation with the NFL Players Association and playing-field experts.
The league said that “the playing field at Estadio Azteca does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday.”
The ticket-refund procedures for those fans who were planning to attend the game in Mexico City will be announced in the coming days, the league said.
The eagerly anticipated matchup is one of the highest-profile games of the NFL season. The teams have matching 9-1 records and quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jared Goff of the Rams, along with Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley, have emerged as league MVP candidates.
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