The NFL won’t play south of the border in 2018 after all.
In the wake of concerns regarding the state of the playing surface at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the NFL has moved Monday night’s clash between the Chiefs and Rams to Los Angeles.
Chiefs-Rams game to move from Mexico City to Los Angeles due to field conditions pic.twitter.com/vWmpzS9lOr
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 13, 2018
“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 league released a statement earlier Tuesday, saying it was determined to find a solution that would prevent the meeting from being relocated. But reports emerged during that day that a number of players were considering skipping the game if it was played at Estadio Azteca, with one prominent player affirming, “It’s not fair to risk our health.”
According to Yahoo Sports, which cited unidentified sources from each team, a Shakira concert at the venue Oct. 11 “left the grass surface in significant disrepair.”
With both teams 9-1 and featuring two of the most productive offenses in the league, the contest easily is one of the most anticipated games of the season.
The Rams will host the Chiefs at L.A. Memorial Coliseum at 8:20 p.m. ET Monday.