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The league determined the playing surface “did not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday.”
Images of the field’s condition, with multiple divots and spots without grass, surfaced earlier this week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported players were considering sitting the game out due to concern over their safety.
“We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game,” NFL executive vice president of international 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. 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 has played regular season games at Estadio Azteca each of the last two seasons.
Because of the switch, the Rams will be hosting their first Monday game at the Coliseum since November 1979. The NFL requires “host” teams of international games to keep their stadiums open in case of an emergency.
Lindsey Thiry of ESPN reported the Rams will provide tickets to first responders to recent tragedies in California.