The Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 11 game against the Los Angeles Rams has been relocated from Mexico City, Mexico, to Los Angeles, California.
Here is the official statement from the NFL:
Chiefs-Rams Game To Move From Mexico City to Los Angeles Due to Field Conditions
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.
Photos and videos showing horrible field conditions at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, where the game was to be played, began surfacing this weekend.
Monday and Tuesday, reports from ESPN and Yahoo! Sports confirmed that the NFL was worried. Upon inspection in Mexico City Tuesday, the NFL decided moving the game to LA was the best option.
There is good and bad to this decision.
The good is that the NFL cut its losses and in making the change, avoided a bigger disaster, which would have been injuries to its two Super Bowl favorites. No injury to any player is acceptable, but it’s worth noting the Monday night rosters include two MVP candidates in Patrick Mahomes and Todd Gurley.
The bad is that the time and date on the Mexico City game was set in April 2018. How more specific and clear plans weren’t in place to avoid such a gaffe is incredible. There are no doubt Chiefs and Rams fans who made arrangements to attend the game in Mexico City and are now out of a lot of money. In addition, this thwarts the league’s opportunity to continue in its international expansion efforts.
When it comes to the actual game, the Chiefs might have a slight advantage, given the Rams’ decision to move their operation to Colorado in order to prepare their lungs for the higher altitudes of Mexico City.
Rams plan to stay in Colorado until the weekend. Team arrived last night. No need to turn back around immediately.— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) November 13, 2018
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid never moved his team from Kansas City, so when the first practice of the week comes on Thursday, it will be business as usual.