The anticipated match between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts scheduled on Sunday was called off after reports that the field they were supposed to use was in poor condition.
Upon closer inspection, coaches and officials saw issues in the midfield and end zones. The canceled NFL Hall of Fame game was also supposed to be part of the league’s Hall of Fame Weekend.
“We saw all the head officials from both teams and the pro-football Hall of Fame discussing the field,” said Steve Wyche of NFL Media, during an NFL news report.
“The main issue is the midfield logo. It had been painted and, from what we are hearing in talking with several people, it was hard and it was slick. And there were other spots on the field that were hard. There’re too many concerns where these coaches didn’t want to put their players in jeopardy.”
Some analysts and reports immediately took to twitter to react and inform fans about the news.
Football is back. But there is a lot of concern about the playability of the turf in Canton. pic.twitter.com/RUuF0S1uOB
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) August 7, 2016
Parts of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio are as hard as concrete in opinion of multiple players. Unsafe, they say.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 7, 2016
Shortly after 8 in the evening, a joint statement was released by the NFL and NFLPA.
“Due to safety concerns with the condition of the playing surface in Canton, tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers has been canceled. We are very disappointed for our fans, but player safety is our primary concern, and as a result, we could not play an NFL game on this field tonight.” the statement said.
A similar issue was also found in last year’s Hall of Fame game wherein one player was badly injured.
This is not the first time a Hall of Fame game was also canceled. In 2011, the NFL exhibition match was canceled due to the ongoing lockout.
Field problems plagued a Hall of Fame game in 2001 when the Philadelphia Veterans Stadium was installed with a “new” artificial surface.
A “no refund” clause was stipulated in the canceled NFL Hall of Fame game tickets, begging the question, when will the new game date be?
The "no refunds" line on tonight's ticket falls under assumption game would be played. It will not pic.twitter.com/d7aZprTvIk
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 7, 2016
Unfortunately, for fans (and the NFL) a schedule is yet to be finalized.
PHOTO COURTESY: Erik Drost/ Flickr