The Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-1) showdown on Monday Night Football was to be played at the famous Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, providing a neutral-site venue for what may very well be a Super Bowl preview. If you take a look at the field for Estadio Azteca right now? Ehhh it’s probably best the game not be played there.
Unreal. Here’s the field in Mexico pic.twitter.com/DFPaXKfB2r— Scott Zolak (@scottzolak) November 13, 2018
Amid reports that players from both teams were threatening to sit out as opposed to risk their bodies playing on a field so bad it makes FedEx Field look pristine, the NFL has pulled the plug on the Mexico City game for 2019.
The NFL announced today that it will move the Monday, November 19, Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Rams game originally scheduled for Estadio Azteca in Mexico City to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
The decision is based on the determination – in consultation with the NFLPA and following a meeting and field inspection this afternoon by NFL and club field experts as well as local and independent outside experts – 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.
”We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game,” said NFL Executive Vice President of International Mark Waller. ”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.”
Details on ticket reimbursement procedures will be announced in the days ahead.
All NFL teams that forgo a home game to play internationally are required to keep their home stadium available as a contingency, and the Rams will be announcing ticket information and other logistical details for Monday night’s game at the LA Coliseum as soon as possible.
From a neutral standpoint, this might be the game of the year, and it sure would suck if it was ruined because of dangerous conditions that are clearly presented at Estadio Azteca. In the context of the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff hopes, a neutral site game just reverted to a true home game for the Rams, who are undefeated at the LA Coliseum despite a few close calls this season. The Chiefs clinching the #1 seed before Week 16 could potentially be huge for the Seahawks, as Andy Reid almost certainly would rest his starters for the majority (if not all) of the game. Hopefully Kansas City can do what the Seahawks failed to do on Sunday, and exit LA with a W on November 19th.