When a football game gets cancelled, the next best thing to do is to host a fans day instead.
This is exactly what happened after field conditions forced a Hall of Fame game between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
“I was notified at about 5:30 that there was a problem at midfield and in the end zones with some of the painting that it was kind of congealing and rubberized, which meant players might slip on it,” explained Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker.
Baker said that staff tried to remedy the situation by dropping pellets. However, concerns were soon raised that the conditions can be fixed, but something had to be done underneath the field surface.
“We think we could make it playable, that it might be playable now but if there is any concern, anything in the minds of players we want to err on the side of player safety,” Baker added.
According to a report from the NFL, the main issues are the painting and rubberized surface of the playing field.
The field that was going to be used for Sunday’s Hall of Fame game is said to be relatively brand new, having only been used for a year at the Superdome in New Orleans. When it arrived at Sunday’s venue in Ohio, the field was said to have passed a series of safety tests. Moreover, it passed another series of safety tests when the cover was taken off Sunday morning.
Following the game cancellation, Colts defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin announced he’ll be mingling with the fans.
“Game canceled but will go out and talk to fans and sign things. Was juiced but safety is number 1,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the NFL and NFL Players Association issued a joint statement saying, “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.”
According to a report from ESPN, fans will have to wait till next Saturday night to watch a pro football game in Los Angeles. As for the Packers and Colts, both teams are headed back home. Fans with tickets to Sunday’s game will be fully refunded.